Chad Townsend might be the new kid on the block at the Warriors, but he's already telling people what to do.
Having joined the club on a two-year contract from the Cronulla Sharks, the 23-year-old turned out for his new team for the first time on Wednesday night, in the pre-season match against Wigan in Hamilton.
Now he plans to pile the pressure on the incumbent halves pairing of Shaun Johnson and Thomas Leuluai, who played every match for the Warriors last season. Throw in the possibility of Kevin Locke shifting infield thanks to the addition of new fullback Sam Tomkins, and the task looms even tougher for Townsend. But he's up for the fight.
"That's my goal," he said. "That's why I came here. I targeted that as soon as I signed here, to cement a spot in the team. And hopefully with my hard work and my performances I can get there."
Townsend showed some nice touches in the Wigan game - a match he had been thinking about the whole night before. He got about 65 minutes on the park, scored a try and set up another, and started making his voice known to his comrades.
"That's my job, that's what I love doing, I love telling the boys where to go and what to do, and that's a big part of my role in the halves.
"From day one you've got to be assertive, and that's hopefully what I've done, so I'm just looking to continue to do that."
Townsend played just 19 first-grade games for the Sharks in his three years there, with Todd Carney and Jeff Robson getting the bulk of the nods last year.
That forced him to ply his trade for the Sharks in the NSW Cup, and he led them to the title.
That confidence is a nice thing to bring into a new environment, which Townsend said has been a massive lifestyle change.
"That's why I came here, to get out of my comfort zone. So far I've loved it. The boys have welcomed me with open arms in the club. It's really professionally run. I'm really enjoying my time in Auckland, it's a great city."
Townsend has already marked down on the calendar when he'll take on his former club, and it comes as early as round five, in an away contest.
He's already spoken to a few former colleagues about catching up for a feed during their trip over for the inaugural NRL Nines in Auckland this weekend, where Townsend will be on hand to cheer on his new team-mates.
"I'll be watching the boys. It's an exciting concept, I think it's great for Auckland, great for the local economy as well, thousands of people will come. I'm just really looking forward to kicking back and watching some exciting footy."
AT A GLANCE
Chad Townsend Born: January 10, 1991, Sydney Height: 181cm Weight: 89kg Position: Halfback, five-eighth Previous club: Cronulla Sharks
- © Fairfax NZ News
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