James Tedesco's telling call on Chad Townsend after NRL veteran's huge move for family

Tedesco believes Townsend will work wonders with youngsters Sam Walker and Sandon Smith.

Roosters skipper James Tedesco believes Chad Townsend will work wonders alongside the club's young halves Sam Walker and Sandon Smith next season. Townsend's signing completed a bumper week of deals for the Tri Colours as they also locked down Angus Crichton on a new contract and were given the green light to sign rugby union defector Mark Nawaqanitawase.

Townsend has been a mainstay for Todd Payten's Cowboys but his deal with North Queensland ends at the end of this season. And on Wednesday it was announced that he had decided to link up with the Roosters in 2025 to replace departing halfback Luke Keary. The Roosters reportedly sought out the 33-year-old for the main purpose of helping develop their young talented halves.

James Tedesco believes Chad Townsend will work wonders with young halves Sam Walker and Sandon Smith. Image: Getty
James Tedesco believes Chad Townsend will provide some much needed experience to the Roosters in 2025. Image: Getty/Instagram

Walker, 22, and Smith, 21, are seen as Trent Robinson's long-term halves and Townsend's short-term deal allows the club to have an experienced head lead the way while they gain experience and confidence. Tedesco believes Townsend will be a great addition to the club as they search for a premiership.

"Having two young guys like Sam and Sandon, it's handy to have an experienced leader like Chad," Tedesco said. "He's been around the game for a long time now, he's had success, won a grand final, he's led different teams to success.

"That's a win-win for all of us to have Chad's experience here if we need him, just guiding the young halves with his experience and leadership is going to be a big positive."

Townsend's experience will be crucial to the Roosters' premiership aspirations in 2025, with the experienced heads of Keary and Jared Waerea-Hargreaves off to the Super League and the talented Joey Manu and Joseph Aukuso-Suaalii heading to rugby union.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 02: Sam Walker of the Roosters warms up prior to the round 13 NRL match between Sydney Roosters and North Queensland Cowboys at Allianz Stadium, on June 02, 2024, in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Jeremy Ng/Getty Images)
Sam Walker (pictured) and Sandon Smith are considered the future of the Roosters.

A change of scenery was an attractive proposition for Townsend, who has never been short of suitors in the NRL and abroad. But the Roosters move presented a unique opportunity for the halfback as he looks to transition from his playing career into a media or coaching role when he retires.

The veteran half has four young children and believes a move to Sydney will help open doors for him post his playing career. "There's multiple scenarios, overseas is definitely an option, staying in Australia is definitely an option," Townsend told AAP when speaking about his options for next year earlier this week.


"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."

Townsend also has flirted with the idea of coaching and Todd Payten endorsed the potential career path, stating he already acts as a second coach on the field at the Cowboys. "He's always keeping our group calm," Payten said. "It's like having a coach on the field, which is great."

After helping the depleted Cowboys to a 16-6 victory over the reigning premiers Penrith last week, Townsend says he is not ready to hang it up just yet. "I still feel like I contribute at this level and I just love the game," he said. "It's going to be a really big decision, to be fair, but I'm excited for it."

Townsend's Cowboys are right in the mix for finals this season after springing a massive shock away to Penrith on Sunday saw them 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