Chad Townsend's confession about family as halfback linked with switch to Sydney NRL club

Townsend admits his young family are at the centre of his decision.

North Queensland have confirmed that Chad Townsend will leave at the end of the current NRL season, with the veteran Cowboys halfback revealing his family would be a huge factor in his next move. Townsend has been a mainstay for Todd Payten's side but is off-contract at the end of this season and is expected to link up with the Roosters in 2025 to replace departing halfback Luke Keary.

The 33-year-old is in his third season with the Cowboys, where he's established himself as one of the leaders in Payten's side. And he's made no secret of his desire to play on in 2025, despite his current contract expiring at the end of the season. Townsend has already met with a handful of NRL clubs as he contemplates signing on for a swan-song campaign in the NRL.

Chad Townsend says his young family will factor heavily into what decision he makes about his playing career. Pic: Getty
Chad Townsend says his young family will factor heavily into what decision he makes about his playing career. Pic: Getty

The Courier Mail reports Townsend is in discussions to sign with the Roosters in 2025, where he would replace fellow halfback Keary, who is in discussions to finish his career in England's Super League. The Roosters reportedly see Townsend as the perfect experienced half to help develop young playmaker Sam Walker, with the 33-year-old a former premiership winner with Cronulla in 2016.

Cowboys football boss Micheal Luck confirmed on Tuesday that Townsend would depart the club when his contract expires at the end of the season. And the North Queensland club insist Townsend will be a valuable pick up for a rival club, explaining the decision to let him leave came down to salary cap pressures and a look to the future.

“Chad is a champion bloke, he is so professional and he understands how this game works,” Luck said. "We told Chad last week that there would be nothing here for him unfortunately with the salary cap. We brought him here for three years to do a job and he has a chance to finish on a really good note.

“He has mentored our younger blokes and done a great job, Tom Duffy is shooting the lights out in the Queensland Cup. Jake Clifford is a more mature player since coming back and Tommy Dearden is now an Origin player, so we can’t have asked anymore of him. The level of maturity and calmness he has brought to our team over his team here has been amazing. We are a much better club for having him as a part of it and we are a better team when he is on the park. Chad has been a great leader, so we were very lucky to have him here.”

Townsend says playing overseas is "definitely an option" but the crafty playmaker has four young kids and admitted that his family would weigh heavily into his decision-making. Townsend has also expressed interest in a career in the media when his playing days are done and a move to Sydney to link up with the Roosters would certainly tick most of the boxes for the 33-year-old.


"At the moment, I've been assessing all my options, I've made it no secret that I want to see everything that's out there for me," Townsend told AAP. "I've had multiple meetings over the last couple of months and I think I'm just about ready to make a decision. That'll happen over the next couple of weeks...

"There's multiple scenarios, overseas is definitely an option, staying in Australia is definitely an option. "Ultimately my decision will be based around my young family. I want to make the decision for them, and you want to think about life after football and the things that I enjoy... I still feel like I contribute at this level and I just love the game. It's going to be a really big decision, to be fair, but I'm excited for it."

Seen here, North Queensland star Chad Townsend with his kids after an NRL game.
North Queensland star Chad Townsend is seen here with his kids after an NRL game. Pic: Getty

Townsend's leadership capabilities would fit well with a young playing group, or a side in the midst of rebuilding, and Payten says he has the necessary qualities to make a good coach when he eventually hangs up the boots. "He's always keeping our group calm," Payten said. It's like having a coach on the field, which is great."

Townsend's Cowboys are right in the mix for finals this season after springing a massive shock away to Penrith on Sunday, where they hung on for a gusty 16-6 win, despite missing all six of their State of Origin players. The Panthers were also depleted, with Isaac Yeo the only Penrith Origin star to back up after Game 2, as North Queensland overcame two sin-binnings to stun the Panthers and move into seventh on the ladder. Crucially, they also still have two byes left and play six of their remaining eight games at home.

with AAP