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Chad Townsend is returning to the Cronulla Sharks next season.

Chad Townsend has signed a two-year deal with the Cronulla Sharks, securing  a release from the final year of his contract with the New Zealand Warriors and will return to the Shire in 2016.

Townsend played through the Sharks junior representative system before debuting in the NRL during the 2011 season.

"He left looking for greater opportunity and has matured over the past two seasons. He has been in career best form this year," Cronulla coach Shane Flanagan said.

"It is also great to have one of our local juniors returning to the club and we certainly look forward to having him back."