SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JULY 18: Chad Townsend of the Sharks celebrates victory after the round 19 NRL match between the Sydney Roosters and the Cronulla Sharks at Allianz Stadium on July 18, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Chad Townsend has opened up on his journey to becoming a Cowboy, conceding that he never thought he would be a part of the North Queensland team.

Sydney born Townsend had anything but a normal season in 2021, signing a three-year deal to join the Cowboys at the end of the year from Cronulla in the early rounds of the season, but quickly found himself out of favour at his old club.

Opening up in an interview with, Townsend revealed that finding himself dropped to the reserves mid-year "hurt", and caused him to seek out alternate arrangements for the remainder of the year.

“It definitely hurt me for sure but I think at the end of the day it’s a business. You have to just try to put it to the side and move on,” he said.

“Once it sort of happened I was keen to explore my options to go elsewhere, I tried to come to the Cowboys early but they couldn’t fit me in.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 14: Chad Townsend of the Sharks passes during the round one NRL match between the St George Illawarra Dragons and the Cronulla Sharks at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium, on March 14, 2021, in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

“It hurt but I had nine fantastic years at the Sharks, we played finals six years in a row, we obviously won the comp, so I look back on my time there with fond memories.

“I’ll always have a little bit of black, white and blue in me for sure because I’m from the area.”

The 31-year-old spent the rest of the season at the Warriors, the club he previously played for in 2014 and 2015, but managed just five matches as a shoulder injury kept him from the field.

“I signed (with the Cowboys), I think it was Round 3, and it was a bit of a rollercoaster year after I made that call,” Townsend explained.

“But for me it was a call I had to make to secure my future and if that year had to be I guess a write-off year... and looking back on it, it probably was.

“Moving clubs, then I wrecked my shoulder on my first touch of my first game and that hampered me for the rest of the year. I only got good in the off-season.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 26: Chad Townsend of the Sharks celebrates with Scott Sorensen of the Sharks after scoring a try during the round 24 NRL match between the Cronulla Sharks and the Newcastle Knights at Southern Cross Group Stadium on August 26, 2018 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

“It was extremely disappointing because I was really keen to go to the Warriors and have an impact but I didn’t have any impact at all. It was hard because I have an emotional connection to the Warriors jersey, I played for that club before.

“Nathan Brown went out on a limb and so did Cameron George to get me there. At the end of the year when we did our reviews I actually apologised to them because I just felt like I let them down. It was hard in that regard, even the owner ‘Robbo’ (Mark Robinson) wanted me there as well.

“That was tough, I faced some adversity but I wouldn’t change any of it. It made me hungry for this year and made me get my shoulder right. I’m in a really good head space and I’m where I want to be right now.”

Townsend, now officially a co-captain at the Cowboys, is set to get his season underway on Sunday March 13 against the Bulldogs.


  1. It always hurts to be told that you’re no longer required (happened to me a few times in my working life).
    It’s a shame that the temporary job didn’t work out at the Warriors last year, but it speaks volumes for him as a person that he apologised for not being able to contribute – even though that was due to injury not lack of effort.

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