Highly-rated community prop takes Australia chance

Dylan Turner Credit: Alamy
Dylan Turner Credit: Alamy

Oldham St Anne’s Dylan Turner, one of the best young forwards in the amateur game, is heading off to Australia to follow a well-trodden path by English players wishing to develop their skills and gain vital experience.

A big prop, 18-year-old Turner will join Kincumber Colts, a Country Club on the Central Coast of New South Wales with a reputation for producing NRL players, and others who have gone on to become household names in the sport, including his fellow Oldhamers Barrie McDermott and Leo Casey.

The Oldham link is provided by the well-known Deakin family, which has lots of rugby league contacts in both the UK and Australia.

Turner made 22 appearances last season for the Saints first team, who play in the National Conference League, and also played for England Community Lions under-19s which won the European Championship in Italy, beating hot favourites France in the final.

Waterhead’s Scott Parnaby and Callum Murphy also helped England to win that European title, Turner and Parnaby having previously played for the Lions as under-17s and Turner having played for Kincumber Colts as a guest on the Australian team’s tour of France in 2019.

“Dream come true”

Dylan Turner, who has been at St Anne’s since he was six, said: “This is a dream come true. I’d like to thank Kincumber for giving me this opportunity and thank St Anne’s and Killan Construction, my employers, for being so understanding.

“Covid stopped a trip to Australia by Saints under-16s, but my move out there next month will be a fantastic experience. Chances like this don’t come round all that often.”

Kincumber Colts alumni include former Bradford and Cronulla full-back Brett Kearney and the late Ryan Tandy, who played for Hull KR, Widnes and Whitehaven in the UK as well as for five NRL sides.

Another former Widnes and Whitehaven man, half-back Joel Penny, also played for the Colts as a junior.

They play at the MacKillop Oval and have teams from under 7s right the way through to first grade.

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