Turner another star from champion team - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Turner another star from champion team

By Todd Balym 05/06/2008 07:58:48 PM Comments (0)

Melbourne winger Steve Turner will become the 16th member of the Storm's 2007 premiership side to play for either his state or country if he wins debut selection for NSW in State of Origin II.

Proving that a champion team breeds a team of champions, and not the opposite, Turner is the only surviving member of the 2007 premiers yet to earn a rep jumper until Wednesday night's call up by coach Craig Bellamy to join the Blues squad.

Turner will not know until on Friday if he or Canberra's Joel Monaghan will replace suspended winger Jarryd Hayne for Origin II.

Both could yet end up playing if star centre Mark Gasnier fails a fitness test on Friday, however he completed another session on Thursday and is looking increasingly confident of playing Queensland next Wednesday at Suncorp Stadium.

If Turner wins a Blues jersey it would leave former second-rower Clint Newton as the lone non-rep player from the 2007 premiership side with the rest having played for either NSW, Queensland, Australia or New Zealand.

Turner didn't exactly enjoy a high recognition factor on Friday as Sydney Football Stadium officials tried to block his access to training as he wasn't wearing team gear and had no team credentials.

It took some convincing from Blues assistant Steve Roach for Turner to be granted entry to join his teammates.

It caps a meteoric rise by Turner who was overlooked for City Origin selection earlier this year despite Bellamy requesting his selection and sending the player on a flight to Sydney believing he would be picked.

"I'm preparing as though I'm going to be playing on Wednesday night and if it goes to Joel so be it," said Turner.

"This is my first representative honour, obviously I missed out on City Country this year and to walk straight into Origin I don't really know what to expect yet.

"Obviously I was disappointed not to get picked in the City side but that is the way rep football goes and you can't dwell on those sort of things.

"That was a bit of controversy there, I was booked on a flight to come here and obviously it didn't happen but as I said at the time if you just keep working hard the rewards will come."

Newton could have made it a cleansweep of rep stars from Melbourne but was denied in his bid to represent Scotland at this year's World Cup and has missed each chance to play for his birth country of the US through injury.

Turner said the Storm's incredible representative streak, with 10 players picked for either NSW or Queensland next week, and his rise into Origin calculations helps vindicate his decision to walk out on a contract with Gold Coast two years ago to remain in Melbourne.

The 23-year-old reneged on an agreement with the Titans to stay in Melbourne and has since won a premiership ring in 2007 and could now possibly earn a Blues jersey.

"That was 18 months ago now and who knows what could have happened, things could have gone the other way," said Turner.

"Maybe my opportunity might not have come my way.

"It's obviously an added bonus of our team success that you have individual success."

Teammate Anthony Quinn, who made a stunning two-try debut in Origin I, has no doubt NSW and Melbourne coach Bellamy is responsible for the individual success of Storm players.

"I think it shows that Craig has really developed a few of the players down there and helped us along," said Quinn.

And being from the Storm, Quinn is confident Turner has the tactical nous to upstage giant Queensland winger and Melbourne teammate Israel Folau.

Turner gives Folau almost 20cm and 20kg away in size advantage but Quinn insists the opposed training done in Melbourne is evenly matched.

"We normally do a lot of opposed stuff against each other so I don't think we'd be too worried about that," said Quinn.

"I've got no worries with anyone who is going to step into Jarryd's shoes."

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2020 AAP

0 Comments about this article

Post a comment about this article

Please sign in to leave a comment.
Becoming a member is free and easy, sign up here.

« All sports news