Townsend, a strongly-built (186cm, 89kg), tough, inside midfielder, played 28 games in four years with the GWS before being traded to Richmond FC.
He managed only one game this season due to injuries and a lack of opportunity in the GWS midfield.
His one appearance came in the final home-and-away round against Melbourne at Etihad Stadium, and he was one of the Giants’ best players that day, finishing with 22 disposals.
“A big-bodied midfielder is something we consider is a real need for us,” said Richmond’s General Manager of Football,” Dan Richardson.
“We think that Jacob will provide the sort of midfield grunt that we need some more of, and he will provide good support in the midfield.
“We’ve been watching GWS clearly quite closely over the last few years – not only their AFL team, but also their NEAFL team.
“We recruited Anthony Miles from the Giants a couple of years ago, and we are confident Jacob will make the same sort of impact Anthony has had over the last two seasons.”
Draft History: 2011 NSW-ACT zone selection (GWS GIANTS)
Trade History: 2015 Traded from GWS to Richmond