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Townsend joins Warriors on immediate release

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24th June, 2021
15

Chad Townsend will give the Warriors some much-needed experience in their spine as part of his mid-season NRL switch from Cronulla.

Warriors coach Nathan Brown claims Chad Townsend’s experience is the biggest boost for the club’s spine after signing him on a four-month NRL contract.

Townsend will be available to play for the 11th-placed Warriors against St George Illawarra on July 2, after confirming he had played his last game for Cronulla.

The 30-year-old had already signed for North Queensland for next year and hasn’t played NRL since being dropped by the Sharks last month.

But he will now add much-needed experience to a Warriors spine that has 18-year-old Reece Walsh at fullback and Wayde Egan at hooker.

Townsend’s partnership with Kodi Nikorima in the halves comes after Chanel Harris-Tavita was ruled out for the season with a pectoral injury.

“Bringing a player of Chad’s calibre and experience back to the club at this time of the year is terrific for us,” Brown said.

“He has impressed as one of the NRL’s most consistent halfbacks throughout his career and he’s a proven performer in big games. 

“We’re certainly delighted we’ve been able to sign him and it’s a real positive that he knows our club so well.”

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Townsend’s signing all but closes the door on any potential for Gareth Widdop to return to the NRL via the Warrors this year.

It means that if the Englishman were to come back to Australia, it would likely be at Canberra as they search for a replacement for Widdop’s countryman George Williams.

The decision to head across the Tasman leaves Townsend’s final contribution for the Sharks being a match-winning golden-point field goal against the Dragons last month.

The half played 146 games for his junior clubs across two separate stints, headlined by guiding them to their drought-breaking 2016 premiership.

“The nine seasons I’ve spent here at the Sharks has been an incredible journey for myself and my family,” Townsend said.

“I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Sharks members and fans for their support over that period.

“I leave this club with a lot of wonderful memories, with the club’s maiden 2016 premiership something I will never forget.”

© AAP

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