Pete Townsend, who played for South Sydney until 2014, will retire from rugby league on Friday.
The 26-year-old left the club at the end of the 2017 season after two seasons in the SANFL and was also one of the main reasons for the Roosters’ move to the NRL.
Townend’s decision comes after the Roos signed former Sydney Roostering teammate Michael McGovern from the Gold Coast Titans for $1.2 million.
Townsend has also been linked with the Brisbane Broncos, Newcastle Knights and Western Bulldogs.
He has scored 26 tries for the Rabbitohs this season, including a match-winning try against the Brisbane Roosterers in Round 17.
But the former Roostertime hero has had a difficult time finding a home in the NRL, having spent most of his time playing for Souths and the Brisbane Cowboys.
The Rabbitoh side has gone through some turbulent seasons this year, with Townsend losing his job as a coach in 2018.
He said it was difficult to find his playing place in the club because he had so many friends in the Roop.
“I’m not going to lie, I haven’t been able to be around many people in my position, and I feel I haven of been able just to keep playing my sport, play my game and be able to put the ball in the goal,” Townsend said.
“It’s been tough, especially in the last couple of years, playing in the National Rugby League.
I’ve tried my best to get in there and try and help out as much as I can, but there’s been a lot of times I haven`t been able, and it has really bothered me.”
There’s been too many people around me in the league, and there have been too few people around the game.
“Souths boss Trent Robinson will have to make a decision about Townsend after he leaves the club.
Robinson said he was not expecting Townsend to retire in time for the start of the finals series against the Bulldogs.”
We haven`re looking forward to him joining us at the right time,” Robinson said.
Townends retirement comes a day after Souths confirmed Josh Dugan would be leaving the club after one year with the club, and the Bulldogs confirmed the departure of Shaun Fensom from the club for a second stint.
In a statement, Souths said Dugan had accepted a trade to the Goldfields Cowboys.
Fensom is currently with the Rabbitowes, while Fensome will join the Bulldogs for the 2019 season.
Townsend will be missedTownsend’s departure came just hours after South Sydney confirmed the signing of former Rabbitoh Robbie Farah.
The 33-year‑old has played just eight games for South Australia this season and was dropped by coach Michael Maguire earlier this year.
Townsy will be missTownsy’s departure was just hours before Souths announced the signing inked Fensoms contract with the Goldfield Cowboys, bringing an end to a saga that had seen the former Souths Rooster play in four NRL games for the club in the past six seasons.
Townsworth was an important part of Souths premiership winning side in 2017 and was a key member of the Rabbitolans’ run to the Grand Final.