Local junior and 2016 Premiership-winning half back Chad Townsend runs out for his 100th NRL game for the Cronulla club when the Sharks play the Titans on Saturday.
The 28-year-old former Yarrawarrah Tiger, who came through the junior ranks at the Sharks before debuting in the NRL in 2011, becomes just the second genuine number seven to reach the club milestone in the history of the Club.
Previous to Townsend, Brett Kimmorley played 140 games for the Sharks, with halves Mitch Healey (223) and Adam Dykes (183) also eclipsing the 100 mark but predominantly in the role of five eighth.
“It will be a great day for Chad and a big occasion for his family,” Sharks coach John Morris said. “He’s such an important part of our squad and I’m really stoked he’s been able to play 100 games.
“He’s into that top ranking of half backs to have played for this club and he’s an integral part of our team.”
The journey to 100 for Townsend began in round 13 of the 2011 season, the half back fulfilling his boyhood dream when he ran out onto Shark Park to play the Broncos.
His first try in the top grade came in round 17, ironically Townsend accepting a pass from then-dummy half John Morris before stretching out to touch down.
Townsend would go onto play 11 games in that debut season, enjoying two more years at Cronulla, before shifting across the ditch to play for Warriors, a move that saw him link with Shaun Johnson in a partnership that has now been renewed at the Sharks in 2019.
Following two seasons in New Zealand, Townsend returned to the Shire in 2016, helping guide the Sharks to premiership success, while this week he cements his legacy as one of the leading halfbacks to pull on the Cronulla jersey.
Townsend spoke to Sharks media about the road to 100, expressing what it will mean to someone who once sat on the family hill with aspirations of playing for his local club, while Morris chimes in with some special praise for his current number seven.
See what the pair had to say in our special Sharks Media presentation.
|Date of Birth||January 10, 1991|
|Junior Club||Yarrawarrah Tigers|
|Rep Honours||City Origin (2016-17), Junior Kangaroos (2011), NSW Under 18's (2009)|
|NRL Debut||Sharks v Broncos, Toyota Stadium, Round 13, 2011|
|Sharks NRL Games||99|