Cowboys rein in Sharks star

21 April 2021 15:58:48 GMTPlus10

North Queensland Cowboys have snared Cronulla Sharks star Chad Townsend for the start of the 2022 NRL season after he agreed a three-year deal.

The Cowboys have been in the hunt for a new half following the retirement of Michael Morgan on medical grounds and had been strongly linked with South Sydney ace Adam Reynolds.

However they have now wrapped up a deal for Townsend after the player turned down the chance to take up a one-year option with the Sharks.

The 30-year-old spoke with incoming Sharks coach Craig Fitzgibbon, but it sounds like his mind was already made up regards a switch to the Cowboys.

Townsend will now see out the 2021 NRL campaign with Cronulla before moving on to the Cowboys and coach Todd Payten believes they have pulled off a real coup.

"We have made no secret of our intentions to secure a senior half after we lost our captain Michael Morgan to retirement," Payten said after the deal was announced.

"We were looking for a composed organising halfback who can steer the team around the park and I believe we have found that in Chad.

"He is a gifted kicker of the football, tackles well and is a strong voice on the field, which were three areas we highlighted when entering the market for a half."

Now that Townsend has agreed to join the Cowboys it is thought Cronulla will look to replace him with Reynolds, who will leave Souths unless they do a U-turn on contract talks.

Souths are only willing to offer Reynolds one year and the player wants at least two, which could open the door for Cronulla to swoop.

The Cowboys are priced at 101.00 to win the NRL grand final.

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