The Shark who could’ve been an NRL Titan

Daly Cherry Evans, Trent Hodkinson, Aidan Sezer – now you can add Chad Townsend to the list of NRL playmakers who decided against pursuing a future on the Gold Coast last year.

Ahead of this Sunday’s clash with the Titans, the Sharks halfback revealed how was approached with the idea of playing on the holiday strip this season instead of returning home to the Shire.

“Basically at the start when I went to the Warriors and said I’d like to move back to Sydney, I had a couple of offers from some teams,” Townsend said on Tuesday.

“I just had an informal chat. I’m pretty close with (Titans assistant coach) Rohan Smith, he spent one season as an assistant coach at the Warriors, and he just asked me what I was doing.

“I said, `Look mate, my preference is to move back to Sydney’, and that’s about as far as it went.”

Townsend was one of many generals linked to the Titans, who spent the majority of last season attempting to entice an elite playmaker to join the club following the controversial backflip of Cherry-Evans.

In the end they got Newcastle No.7 Tyrone Roberts, who was forced to look elsewhere after the Knights signed one of the Titans’ targets in Hodkinson.

The 25-year-old Townsend, who has played in all five games at halfback this season, said moving back to his junior club was the right call and was enjoying picking the brain of star recruit James Maloney.

“I’m in a pretty good place at the moment. I’m enjoying my footy, I’m enjoying this bunch of boys that we’ve got here, and we’ve got a lot of potential,” he said.

“(Shaun has) got a wealth of knowledge and a wealth of experience.

“He’s played Origin and played in grand finals. People go through their whole careers without playing in those games. For him to have that experience is something that I really draw from him.”

The normally defensively sound Sharks turned NRL entertainers in a high-scoring 34-26 win over Wests Tigers last-start, just their fourth 30-plus total since the start of 2014.

Townsend said it was the sign of things to come.

“It means what we’re doing is working and if we can stick to it, who knows what’s going to happen down the track? It’s definitely a positive sign pretty early on in the season,” he said.

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