Cowboys Head Coach Todd Payten made the announcement at today’s Season Launch at the Townsville Entertainment and Convention Centre.
Despite only arriving in North Queensland for his maiden season as a Cowboy in November, Townsend immediately emerged as a prominent voice among the playing group.
The 31-year-old is entering his 12th season in the NRL and has appeared in 192 games for the Sharks and Warriors.
Townsend signed a three-year contract with the Cowboys in April last year, which runs through the 2024 season.
The halfback will make his first appearance for the club in Saturday’s trial against the Broncos at BB Print Stadium in Mackay.
Taumalolo is entering his second season as Cowboys skipper after being named co-captain in 2021.
He finished the season as the Cowboys’ sole captain following the retirement of Michael Morgan.
“Chad is our on-field general. The leadership he has provided with his talk and direction out on the park mirrors the enormous efforts he goes to off the field to promote and grow our club,” Payten said.
“This was an easy decision for myself and the coaches and it certainly wasn’t a surprise for our players.
“We brought Chad to be a leader and that’s exactly what he’s provided us.”
Townsend said being named Cowboys co-captain was one of the proudest moments of his career.
“To be named captain of this club is an absolute honour,” he said.
“When you look at the history of the Cowboys and the players who have gone before me, to have the opportunity to lead this club is extremely humbling.
“I am fortunate enough to be able to share this role with a fantastic leader in Jason and I’ll support him in any way I can.”