KSA Shark ©

UCT star to take the FIGJAM route


Written by Andre Bosch (KSA Shark ©)

Posted in :In the news, WP on 9 Sep 2008 at 13:56
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The prodigiously talented young Western Province right wing, Mathew Turner, is set to join a growing number of younger players turning their back on South African rugby to seek greener pastures, which could see him wearing the Rose of England (in Sevens) as early as this year.

Rugby 365 reports that twenty-year-old Turner, rated broadly as a future Springbok, has failed to make the SA Under-20 team, as well as the Western Province U21 team.

In the Province team he has failed to lift two club mates who he plays ahead of at the University of Cape Town and Morné Jooste, son of Springbok selector Peter.

Turner first came to the fore starring for Western Province Under-19 last year before really lighting up the FNB Varsity Cup for the exciting UCT team with some breathtaking performances, which also saw him finishing as the top try-scorer together with his fellow Ikeys wing Marcello Sampson.

Many pundits regard him as a potential great. Robbie Fleck, the former Bok vice-captain, who has coached Turner at UCT this season, said: “Mat is a rare one; he is the ultimate wing. Very fast, very strong, highly skilled and a great finisher. He is a pure Springbok in the making.”

Turner is believed to have signed a contract with Bristol Rugby in England’s Guinness Premiership, but the real clincher is that he has been drafted straight into the English Sevens training squad with a view to next year’s Sevens World Cup.

The speedster has an English mother and as soon as he dons the Sevens shirt of England that will be the end of his chances of playing for the Boks. It is clear that Turner felt aggrieved at his lack of progress in South Africa by failing to make the various age-group squads, despite his performances and testing results.

His coach at UCT, John Dobson, is already ruing the loss of his major attacking weapon.

“It’s a massive loss for us, the province and, ultimately, a pity for South Africa,” said Dobson. “People may not think so now as he is an unknown, but I assure you that this will not be the case for long.

“The lack of effort to help keep Matt in the country was depressing, especially as a current member of the Tri Nations squad told me Turner was one of the best wings he had seen.”

Turner’s agent, Kevin Foote was keen to point out that Turner did not leave with any ill-feelings toward South African rugby at all. In fact, he leaves with a heavy heart.

“The thing is,” said Foote, “Mat is a professional rugby player and that is all he wants to do. It is his career and he had to make a choice to play where he could grow his career best.”

Time will tell…

* Of course, should Turner earn a full Test cap for England, he would certainly not be the first UCT player to do so, the most recent being Bath prop Matt Stevens – a member of England’s 2007 Rugby World Cup squad.

Stevens, who has already won 28 England caps, left Cape Town – initially to study at Bath University – in September 2002. England handed him a Test debut against New Zealand less than two years later.



42 Comments

  • what do we need him for? We’ve got Wylie Human :roll:

  • Comment 1, posted at 09.09.08 14:16:32 by molly Reply
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  • @molly (Comment 1) : Exactly, cheers mate :neutral:

  • Comment 2, posted at 09.09.08 14:25:06 by PJLD(RIP Bernie Mac) Reply
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  • Oh geez, I almost forgot we’ll also have the reliable Caucau and Kallie.

    Who needs to build for the future when we can just buy?

  • Comment 3, posted at 09.09.08 14:31:48 by molly Reply
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  • Do we even have cow cow yet?
    Lets see, we have Kalli, we dont want to keep Ryland, Jacobz is a midget that refuses to tackle,erm er. oh ja we have APLON!

  • Comment 4, posted at 09.09.08 14:37:49 by PJLD(RIP Bernie Mac) Reply
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  • We also have Zapiro :roll:

  • Comment 5, posted at 09.09.08 14:41:43 by Pokkel Reply
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  • Well WP is looking after their immediate interests first.

    Coaches get fired on performances of today, not performances that we will see from players 2 or 3 years from now.

    If Turner, or anyone, is to be kept, it should be a concerted effort from the union with SARU and Bok management.

    As far as the age-group teams go, the selection of those teams has been a farce long before we became a democracy. Just look how many times the b or academy teams snots the a team.

  • Comment 6, posted at 09.09.08 14:49:11 by MorneN Reply
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    MornéTeam captain
     
  • Like the sa schools vs sa academy the other day?

  • Comment 7, posted at 09.09.08 14:55:38 by PJLD(RIP Bernie Mac) Reply
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  • @PJLD(RIP Bernie Mac) (Comment 7) :

    Yup

  • Comment 8, posted at 09.09.08 15:03:58 by MorneN Reply
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  • @Pokkel (Comment 5) :
    You really are bringing a “legal” slant to your post today, aren’t you?

  • Comment 9, posted at 09.09.08 15:04:28 by Salmonoid Reply
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  • @PJLD(RIP Bernie Mac) (Comment 7) :
    Man, I enjoyed that big time.

  • Comment 10, posted at 09.09.08 15:10:04 by Salmonoid Reply
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  • @MorneN (Comment 6) :
    OK, but then how do you explain them (WP) signing an Aussie league player, who had not yet played any rugby union before, on a junior contract. I think the chaps name was Titus or something like that – he even got a write up in one of Keo’s magazines. And I have not heard of him since.

  • Comment 11, posted at 09.09.08 15:10:54 by Salmonoid Reply
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  • I always wondered why he never got a WP contract.

    He was just AWESOME for UCT during the FNB Varsity tourney.

    But hey, we are talking about Western Province here. Should we really be surprised??? :evil: :evil:

  • Comment 12, posted at 09.09.08 15:15:00 by wpw Reply
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  • I am telling you its sad to see this kind of talent go. If the Aussies are wise they’ll scoop our talent just outside of Craven Week. I had a talk to Ruaan Smith about this and he said they want some big Boer beef and are prepared to pay. Sad to see them go but I’ll never ever blame them.

  • Comment 13, posted at 09.09.08 15:15:48 by PaarlBok Reply

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  • @PaarlBok (Comment 13) :

    Is Ruaan Smith that huge prop from Paarl Gim??? :shock:

  • Comment 14, posted at 09.09.08 15:17:15 by wpw Reply
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  • Yes, thats him, spent last year in Aus.

  • Comment 15, posted at 09.09.08 15:26:18 by PaarlBok Reply

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  • Does he have a WP contract yet???

    Why don’t they play him now??? I mean, Schalk Ferreira??? Broken Harris??? :roll:

  • Comment 16, posted at 09.09.08 15:30:03 by wpw Reply
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  • Well said morne.

    It’s a bit rich saying WP should keep this player and that player when these guys arent even fully grown up yet.

    Age group selection has for many years been a closed shop with the correct players not always picked. In all provinces. That along with the development requirements of the selections. That’s not a political comment and neither am I expressing an opinion on it – that is public knowledge and documented policy. Unfortuantely for him he is playing in a position where he has a lot of competition in that regard. Again not my opinion but simply anecdotal evidence looking at, for example, the composition of the Bulls teams of the last 10 years.

    It also cannot possibly be WP’s fault that Turner wasnt picked for the SA u/21 side. How can it? Does WP run the selection process? Is the tail wagging the dog?

    This is a simple, pragmatic move by the young man. If he was willing to wait another few years he might crack the nod and be a Bok. But if he did wait and didnt make the cut then he’d have failed to capitalise on the hype surrounding him currently and he would possibly just become another almost-been.

    It’s a sad state of affairs and a reality of SA rugby that if you dont make the grade at junior level your chances of progressing are radically reduced.

    I think it’s pointless blaming the player, blaming the WP management, the coaches or politics for what has happened here – Turner is unfortuantely collateral damage of a much bigger initiave, and one that has it’s own merits.

  • Comment 17, posted at 09.09.08 15:31:02 by VinChainSaw Reply
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  • The really sad bit of all this is that it’s not just rugby this applies to, although Barritt has already been bracketed by the English Press as a future Pom before he’s even arrived in the country!

    It’s also SA cricket that is bleeding young players – in 5 years time we may very well see a Pom cricket team comprising more than 50% Saffa’s. Think of great young talent like Ryan McLaren, Dillon du Preez, Faf du Plessis, Craig Kieswetter, Dawid Malan and another young speedster called Jade Dernbach who have thrown their hat in with that lot…. EISH.

    At least we have the mighty Vernon Philander and Andrew Puttick waiting in the wings… :shock: :roll:

  • Comment 18, posted at 09.09.08 15:32:20 by Le Req Reply
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  • Well well finally my broer, VCS is back. :wink:

    @wpw Sign and deal in WP Academy with his twin brother to Stellenbosch.

  • Comment 19, posted at 09.09.08 15:33:44 by PaarlBok Reply

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  • @VinChainSaw (Comment 17) :

    Well said Vinnie, though it saddens me that WP – who have the biggest pool of talented wingers – continually overlook these blokes in favour of a lazy, overrated Fijian who’s commitment has to be questioned… And now there is talk of Cococabana – though I think he’d rather chase £££ than ZAR. No wonder 90% of those wingers play their rugby outside of the province.

  • Comment 20, posted at 09.09.08 15:37:01 by Le Req Reply
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  • @PJLD(RIP Bernie Mac) (Comment 7) : I watch that game and the minute the above mention Smith was replaced early in the second half with a qouta the only thing that worked for the A team, the scrums went backwards.
    Thats the problem in our Craven Week and provincial picks.

    Thats why I think if the Aussies are wise and scoop those just outside of Craven Week they can get real talent without spending much money.

  • Comment 21, posted at 09.09.08 15:39:04 by PaarlBok Reply

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  • @Salmonoid (Comment 11) :

    Who signed him and under what pretences?

    Of course not all signings (foreign or domestic) will work.

    Some will, some will fail.

    I am a huge believer in timing, and making your own luck.

    This kid has decided to move on and good luck to him – some other kid (I am thinking Hoffman here who said he wants to give WP a couple of years and fight for his jersey) did not and equally, good luck to him.

    It is the right coach under the right circumstances that notice you and you get that break.

    Rugby from a player perspective in SA is very competitive.

    We have to live with the fact that we will lose talent, especially since the whole Australian rugby playing pool is the size of one of our unions.

  • Comment 22, posted at 09.09.08 15:40:53 by MorneN Reply
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  • @PaarlBok (Comment 19) :

    Was bietjie op vakansie in die midde ooste. How goes Mr. PB?

  • Comment 23, posted at 09.09.08 15:41:26 by VinChainSaw Reply
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  • @Le Req (Comment 20) :

    I think they come cheap Quinny.

  • Comment 24, posted at 09.09.08 15:41:57 by VinChainSaw Reply
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  • @Le Req (Comment 20) :

    And they dont have national duty and so are guaranteed to play in the CC.

  • Comment 25, posted at 09.09.08 15:42:22 by VinChainSaw Reply
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  • @Le Req (Comment 20) :

    Like I said, success NOW is more important than success down the line.

    If WP becomes successful, and wins a couple of CC’s then sure, we have a pool (30 senior) of players that will stick with us for 3 or 4 years and then concentrate on building depth.

    WP rugby is struggling to keep their heads above water as is and fans want to see them win, not excuses.

  • Comment 26, posted at 09.09.08 15:43:16 by MorneN Reply
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  • @MorneN (Comment 22) : You talking about Conrad Hoffman?

  • Comment 27, posted at 09.09.08 15:44:41 by PaarlBok Reply

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  • @MorneN (Comment 22) :

    Exactly. And for this chap a move to the rolling hills of engerlund makes juts as much sense as a move to Joburg.
    It’s no different from the decision I wrestled with a few years ago – go to Jozi or to the UK. Either way you’re still a flight away from home.

  • Comment 28, posted at 09.09.08 15:44:58 by VinChainSaw Reply
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  • @VinChainSaw (Comment 17) :

    Well summed up.

  • Comment 29, posted at 09.09.08 15:45:25 by MorneN Reply
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  • @VinChainSaw (Comment 23) : I missed you Boet. Was waiting for the Snor comments. :roll:

  • Comment 30, posted at 09.09.08 15:45:50 by PaarlBok Reply

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  • @MorneN (Comment 26) :

    Yip and success is now measured in weeks, not even months, let alone years.

  • Comment 31, posted at 09.09.08 15:45:53 by VinChainSaw Reply
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  • @Salmonoid (Comment 9) : Just testing the blog , but glad to hear they are sticking to rugby and not the “P” word. :wink:

  • Comment 32, posted at 09.09.08 15:48:00 by Pokkel Reply
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  • Think we in SA are blessed when it comes to rugby talent. We surely must have the biggest schoolboy talent base. This year they create the Varsity Cup and usually your players outside the so called quick road to provincial rugby pool and really it produce some talent. The unversities was usually the good old factory and most of that players studying.

    Think most countries will give their right ball to lay hands on this kind of talent.

  • Comment 33, posted at 09.09.08 15:56:43 by PaarlBok Reply

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  • Schalk Burger is a free man

  • Comment 34, posted at 09.09.08 15:58:10 by PJLD(RIP Bernie Mac) Reply
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  • @VinChainSaw (Comment 25) :

    From an En-ger-lush perspective, yes. And what a good – cheap – investment they all were, as they are topping the CC averages.

    But they are now lost to SA cricket for good. I can understand why they made that choice – it’s fairly obvious, but what angers me is the way our officials are quite happy to see them bugger off, represent another country whilst quite happy to see our teams wallow in mediority…

  • Comment 35, posted at 09.09.08 15:59:50 by Le Req Reply
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  • @PJLD(RIP Bernie Mac) (Comment 34) : Just post it on the Schalkie thread. :cool:

  • Comment 36, posted at 09.09.08 16:06:49 by PaarlBok Reply

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  • @PaarlBok (Comment 30) :

    Yeah sorry I wasnt around. Did manage to find a bar to watch the second half of the test in tel aviv weekend before last. Was waiting for a few knives to come out.

    I’m still not convinced his plan is correct as it revolves around the high-risk, high-reward theory which by it’s very nature means it either comes off spectacularly or fails miserably.
    Only time will tell I suppose but he’ll need to get consistent.

  • Comment 37, posted at 09.09.08 16:09:21 by VinChainSaw Reply
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  • @MorneN (Comment 22) :
    Who signed him and under what pretences?

    I actually think I would pay for that answer, but think it will never be fortcoming. Sad.

  • Comment 38, posted at 09.09.08 16:11:26 by Salmonoid Reply
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  • @VinChainSaw (Comment 37) : Broer I nearly thought you visit Osama but wont find him in Tel Aviv. :wink:

    Dont know if you saw the sex tapes one (think he tried to explain his expansive gameplane to Suzi and she choke this time) but I dont know about the outside of rugby stuff but I like the kind of game he wants the Bokke to play.

    Think we need to stick behind our coach and give him change rugby wise and forgot about the non rugby matters.

    Maybe only a dream in many books but surely I cant

  • Comment 39, posted at 09.09.08 16:18:43 by PaarlBok Reply

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  • @Salmonoid (Comment 38) : His name was Luke Titus:

    Aussie dreams of being a Bok

    Cape Town – The young Australian rugby league player Luke Titus, who will arrive in Cape Town within the next couple of weeks to play for the Stormers dreams of playing for the Springboks instead of representing the country of his birth.

    “Yes, I am very excited about the opportunity that has been given to me. I want to grab it with both hands because I would prefer playing in the Green and Gold of the Springboks rather than that of Australia,” Titus said on Thursday from his parent’s home in Sydney.

    Titus (20), who stands 1.80m in his boots and weighs in at 90kg, still played for the Cronulla Sharks Under-20 rugby league side earlier this year.

    According to the coach of the Sharks, Mitch Healy, Titus is a promising player with an excellent work ethic.

    “Luke is a strong defender who is also quick off the mark. He is an extremely versatile player that is able to slot in comfortably into the fullback, wing and centre position. He works hard at his game and it is for this reason that I think he will be an asset to the Stormers franchise,” said Healy.

    Titus however feels his best position is outside centre and he would ove to play alongside a player of the calibre of Springbok centre Jean de Villiers on his inside.

    “Jean is one of the players I admire and it will be great to be able to play on his outside. Other centres that have impressed me is Gavin Henson of Wales and the Wallabies’ Matt Giteau,” said Titus.

    Titus’s parents, Audrey and Clement, are originally from the Cape, but in 1981 they decided to immigrate to Australia.

    She will accompany her son to Cape Town where he will initially stay with family members. She first wants to make sure that he finds his feet and is nicely settled in before she returns to Australia.

  • Comment 40, posted at 09.09.08 16:21:32 by molly Reply
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  • @molly (Comment 40) :
    Thats the one Molly.
    Does anyone know whether he has played any form of representative rugby while here?

  • Comment 41, posted at 09.09.08 17:16:56 by Salmonoid Reply
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  • @Salmonoid (Comment 41) :

    If I’m not mistaken he played in the warm up game between WP and the Stormers in pre-season.

    He is currently playing Club rugby in the WC. His club Tygerberg were relegated last week (from the top league)

    Claytie will be able to confirm this… :cool:

  • Comment 42, posted at 09.09.08 17:22:23 by wpw Reply
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