But the chance came thanks to the intervention of current Catalans Dragons star Willie Tonga.
Lawton gave up playing last year after an injury-hit spell with Gold Coast from 2009 to 2012 never got properly going.
He focused on a career in body-building and fitness nutrition, and now weighs 88 kilogrammes, with an astonishingly low body fat of just eight per cent.
But building muscles was not enough for Lawton, especially after he spent some time watching his brother Karl play for the Titans’ Under-20s in the Holden Cup.
But it was the intervention of former Queensland State of Origin centre Tonga which settled things.
“I messaged him on Instagram to see if there were any opportunities over there,” Lawton explained to the Brisbane Courier-Mail.
“Watching Karl play gave me itchy feet and I thought I’d give it one last crack. I didn’t want a fulltime gig so Willie organised with Carcassonne to find me a chance.
“I’ve always wanted to go overseas and see what it’s like to travel through places like Greece and Spain.
“The body’s feeling perfect. I feel like I’m 18 and ready to rip in. I’ve been doing a lot of fitness in the last six weeks. I haven’t written off making it back to the NRL. We’ll see what happens.”