He's the only Cronulla Shark in history to win a premiership for the club wearing the seven on his back, but now Chad Townsend is plotting to derail his former club's season.

The slick-haired halfback has the Shire in his veins, spending his young life a stones throw away from Cronulla in Caringbah, before eventually playing 146 first-grade games for the Sharks across two stints, and delivering the 2016 NRL premiership.

Despite his accomplishments in the black, white and blue, Sharks fans this weekend will be cheering for Townsend's downfall as their new star half, Nicho Hynes, prepares to start his first finals game.

The Cowboys half had an option in his contract that would've allowed him to remain at Cronulla for 2022, however Townsend's manager, Chris Orr, was under the impression that higher-ups at the club wanted him gone.

“The reality was Chad was a dead-man walking at Cronulla,” Orr told The Daily Telegraph.

“Their coach at the time, John Morris, was a fan of Chad, but there were others in positions of power that thought he was done as a playmaker.

“Chad was Cronulla’s player of the year in 2019, but within a couple of years there was a feeling he was coming to the end at Cronulla.

“The timing of the Cowboys’ interest couldn’t have been better.

“I never had a single doubt Chad would succeed at the Cowboys because he is like an on-field coach. He is cool and calm and he simply steers the bus, which relieves pressure on the rest of his teammates and allows the game breakers to shine.”

One man's trash is another man's treasure.

Now, Townsend will lead North Queensland into their first finals game since the 2017 NRL Grand Final, and is excited to run onto Pointsbet Stadium for the first time since a two field-goal effort against Canberra in Round 24, 2019.

“It’s a ground where I have a lot of fond memories,” he said.

“I feel like I know the field and the conditions well and I’ve still got mates at the Sharks, but once we step across that line, I’m out there to win it.

“It was my call to decline my player option at the Sharks and take a chance with the Cowboys.

“When I met with Todd Payten, Micheal Luck and Dane Campbell (North Queensland's recruitment officer), they pitched to me what they wanted from me.

“I remember going home from that meeting and speaking to my wife. I said, ‘I can be that guy for them. Exactly what they want, a senior playmaker to be a leader, I can deliver that for them and that appealed to me.”

Townsend will run out alongside fellow-premiership winning Shark, Valentine Holmes, on Saturday as they look to book themselves a home preliminary final at Queensland Country Bank Stadium.