Warriors five-eighth Chad Townsend's future in New Zealand is under a cloud as the Sydney-based mother of his partner battles a terminal illness.
Townsend yesterday revealed the mother of his partner, Marissa Sorensen, relative of former Kiwis and Cronulla Sharks greats Kurt and Dane, has been suffering from bowel cancer over the past three years and recent downturns have seen her in and out of intensive care.
The 24-year-old playmaker is off contract at the end of this season with the Warriors having until the round 13 deadline in eight weeks' time to pick up the option of keeping him for at least one further season.
Rival clubs Cronulla, Manly, Parramatta and Canterbury are in the running to secure his services.
Townsend has been one of the Warriors' leading performers this season and although he is loving life in Auckland and appreciative of the club's support, the difficult situation will play a major role in any decision.
"I haven't [made a decision] and it's all up in the air at the moment," Townsend said.
"I can't thank the Warriors enough for everything they've done. The support they've shown me and Marissa as well has been outstanding.
"It's definitely a tough position to be in but I want to do what is right for Marissa and I outside of football as well as my career.
"I know there is more to life than footy but I just want to make it clear that the Warriors have definitely helped."
Townsend and Sorensen have been in a relationship for just over two years after meeting through Marissa's brother, a former teammate of the Sharks junior.
He provided an insight into the stress the couple is dealing with on this side of the Tasman as her mother's condition worsens.
"She's in and out of intensive care with all sorts of infections," he explained.
"She has good days and she has bad days. At the moment she's having a few more bad days than good but we're still fingers crossed that she can come through."
Townsend arrived at the Warriors last year looking to cement a regular first grade spot after he found his progress at Cronulla impeded by Todd Carney.
After debuting for the Sharks midway through 2011 he was restricted to 19 NRL appearances before finding his feet and racking up 19 games in his first season with the Warriors.
He lost his position in the latter stages of 2014 when coach Andrew McFadden preferred to use Thomas Leuluai at No 6 but has lifted his game to another level to make the jersey his own this year.
The Warriors have held initial talks with Townsend regarding his future but the two parties are yet to reach an agreement.
"Cappy [McFadden] has had a couple of chats with him. It depends what he [Townsend] wants to do too," said Warriors general manager of football Dean Bell.
"Chad's going really well at the moment so we're really pleased with his form and when the time is right we'll sit down and have that discussion."