Sharks hooker Jayden Brailey during his NRL debut in Round 1.

Brailey is our hooker: Townsend

Sharks halfback Chad Townsend says the playing group has no idea if Cronulla will pursue or land former Panthers hooker James Segeyaro but has thrown his support behind young rake Jayden Brailey in the strongest possible terms.

Whispers are growing louder that Cronulla is on the verge of agreeing to terms of a release from Leeds, which casts a shadow over what impressive 20-year-old Brailey's role will be moving forward.

The former NYC star's first two NRL games have seen him on the park for 70 and 80 minutes, provide slick service from dummy-half, defend stoutly and even support for a maiden NRL try in last week's thrashing of the Raiders.

Townsend said he was enjoying forming a new playmaking combination with Brailey, who has impressed his teammates both on and off the field so far in 2017 following what was expected to be a huge blow to the team's prospects with Michael Ennis retiring.

"When Brailey came in, we didn't want him to play like Mick Ennis," Townsend said.

"We'd never say 'go out there and do things like Mick' because it's just not going to happen. 

"For him it's just about him doing his job and playing to his strengths and at the moment he's doing that tremendously well. 

"We want him to know he's our starting hooker and we support him 100 per cent whatever he does. I'm really excited to keep building that combination and we'll see how we go."

‌Townsend said Brailey was one of the fittest at the club and arguably the strongest for his size.

"It says a lot about how he trains, he trains unbelievably hard and lifts in the gym unbelievably heavy for a young kid," he said. 

"You can see that, I think he played 80 minutes on the weekend. Huge effort from him, we know he's capable of that stuff and that's why he's in the position that he is."

Of the talk around Segeyaro's possible arrival, Townsend added: "You hear that stuff float in and out, for us as players, we don't know what's going on, we can't control any of that. 

"At the moment Jayden's our hooker and I support that 100 per cent. I've really enjoyed playing with him. If anything else happens that's out of our control."