Cronulla halfback Chad Townsend admits he’s under pressure to hold his spot this NRL season.Chad Townsend is feeling the heat and it isn’t just the stifling summer breeze that’s been blowing over The Shire.
The premiership-winning Cronulla half admits his beloved No.7 jersey is genuinely under threat this NRL season with Kyle Flanagan expected to make his mark.
Flanagan, the son of coach Shane, will get the chance to press his claims during Saturday’s trial against Manly and has been earmarked to make his NRL debut in 2018.
Townsend admits he is being challenged for his jersey and is under pressure.
“In our whole squad we’ve got depth in all positions which has been great all summer,” Townsend said.
“We had a successful 20s team and a lot of those guys will come up and train with us fulltime, which has really added some spice in our scrimmage sessions.
“Sometimes team two has probably got the better of us, which has been good. It’s always good when you’ve got depth in key positions.”
Flanagan scored 20 tries and kicked 140 goals for the Sharks under-20s last year to smash the National Youth Competition scoring record with 360 from 26 games.
The 19-year-old is seen as the club’s long-term playmaker and along with ex-Newcastle half Trent Hodkinson is pushing Townsend for his position.
The challenge has lit a fire under Townsend and he has set a number of personal bests in the gym.
“I always focus on what I can control, which is turning up to training and training hard on the field and hard in the gym,” Townsend said.
“I’ve been working hard on the weights and trying to improve in that area.
“I’ve been able to PB I think six of my lifts this off-season. That’s an area I’m extremely proud of.”