NRL: Townsend signs with Warriors

Cronulla half Chad Townsend has stolen the Warriors' thunder, announcing on his Facebook site he's signed a two-year contract to move to Auckland next season. Photo / Getty Images
Cronulla half Chad Townsend has stolen the Warriors' thunder, announcing on his Facebook site he's signed a two-year contract to move to Auckland next season. Photo / Getty Images

Cronulla half Chad Townsend has today signed a two-year contract to play with the Warriors next season.

Townsend, who will join Sharks teammate Jayson Bukuya at Mt Smart next season after the second-rower recently signed a two-year deal, is rated highly but has found his way to a first-grade spot blocked by Todd Carney, who recently re-signed with Cronulla for five years.

Warriors coach Matthew Elliott said Townsend's all-round playmaking qualities and his goal-kicking set him apart from the field.

"We've been watching him closely for some time and couldn't be happier to have secured his services for the next two years," said Elliott.

The 22-year old former Junior Kangaroos captain who was courted by Melbourne, St George Illawarra and Penrith, said he was impressed with the Warriors' recruitment approach.

"It's a huge move for me having spent all my life in the shire (Cronulla)," he said.

"They did a fantastic job showing me what the club has to offer and also what a great place Auckland is to live in.

"The Sharks have developed me but this is too good an opportunity to miss. I want to establish myself at NRL level and the Vodafone Warriors will give me the best possible chance to do that."

Thomas Leuluai is expected to shift to hooker next season after the club alerted Nathan Friend last week they wouldn't be taking up the option on him for 2014. It creates a vacancy in the halves with Townsend and even Kevin Locke, who faces stiff competition if England fullback Sam Tomkins signs as expected, vying for a starting spot.

Meanwhile Auckland Vulcans regular Harry Siejka has been granted early release from his Warriors contract, effective immediately.

"Harry told us he's been missing home and wants to return to Sydney," said general manager of football operations Dean Bell.

"It's disappointing it hasn't worked out for him here but he has been a model professional and we'd like to wish him all the best for the future."

- APNZ

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