North Queensland Cowboys playmaker Chad Townsend has been called into the NSW extended squad after Nicho Hynes tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday.
The Cronulla halfback met with the squad in Sydney earlier in the week and was expected to join them in camp in Kingscliff after the Sharks' game with Melbourne on Thursday.
Hynes however returned a positive result on a RAT prior to Wednesday morning's training session with the Sharks sending him for a PCR test.
He has since returned a positive PCR finding along with Sharks teammate Toby Rudolf.
"Nicho stayed in Sydney, we met at the hotel (earlier in the week) and hasn't travelled with the team at all," NSW coach Brad Fittler told 2GB.
"The COVID-19 protocols allow them to go back to their clubs and have captain's run.
"We are thinking (we'll call in) Chad Townsend. He's keen to come in given the Cowboys aren't playing. It's great news (for Chad) and he's been in great form."
Hynes was not expected to play in next week's decider after being named in jersey No.19 with Townsend expected to assume that role.
Hynes was ruled out of Cronulla's game with Braydon Trindall picked to take his place alongside Matt Moylan in the halves.
Australian Associated Press
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