Martin Taupau could be set to make a shock sudden departure from the Manly Sea Eagles, with a move to Townsville on the cards.

Taupau revealed in the lead up to Round 1 that he had no interest in a contract from any NRL club for 2023, with the Sea Eagles unlikely to hold onto the veteran prop.

Manly have a crop of young forwards coming through, including Sean Keppie, Taniela Paseka, Toafofa Sipley and the yet to debut Sione Katoa among others.

It means there is little rumour or want for Taupau in 2023, with the North Queensland Cowboys the first club to reportedly become interested last week.

It's understood the Cowboys would table a monster offer for the Manly prop, despite having their own crop of middle forwards in the system.

The Cowboys are likely to want a forward leader though, with Jordan McLean unlikely to secure a new deal after an underwhelming stint in Townsville after his high-profile move from Melbourne ahead of the 2018 season.

The rush for Taupau to move north to Queensland has reportedly intensified though, with Wide World of Sports' The Mole reporting the Cowboys could make an immediate play for the 32-year-old.

Taupau would need Manly's blessing to move on early, however, given he is a large part of Des Hasler's plans this year at least, it's unclear how likely that would be to occur.

The Cowboys had a horror start to the season, scoring just a single try and lacking punch through the middle third of the field during a home loss to the Canterbury Bulldogs in a dour affair.

There is a thought that Taupau could beef up the Cowboys middle third immediately, playing the role of a leader in the engine room.

It's understood that if Manly aren't open to letting him go, then a player swap could also be on the cards for the remainder of 2022.