Castleford Tigers' Jordan Turner excited by long-awaited Jamaica debut
AT the third attempt of trying, Castleford Tigers’ Jordan Turner is looking forward to finally making his Jamaica debut - and facing some of the best English talent around.
The versatile former Huddersfield Giants and Hull FC player will feature in his testimonial game at Wheldon Road when the Reggae Warriors take on England Knights on Friday.
Turner, who has just enjoyed one of the best seasons of his career after joining Castleford from Huddersfield, has needed to bide his time to make his first appearance for the Caribbean nation.
“It is great just to get to play,” he told The Yorkshire Post, with the 2021 World Cup postponed for 12 months.
“But for me, personally, I’ve been involved with Jamaica for three years now and not actually got to play in a game yet.
“One was because of an injury that ruled me out in 2019 and then obviously last year with Covid there were no games.
“It’s been a long time coming, then, and something I’ve always wanted to do: play for Jamaica.
“It means a lot to me and I’m really looking forward to it.
“It’s going to be a different kettle of fish and it will be interesting against the Knights boys.
“They have some really talented players in there who I enjoy watching, the likes of Mikey Lewis, Will Pryce, and I’m looking forward to going up against them.”
Having scored 17 tries in 20 appearances for Castleford this term, largely as a makeshift winger, Turner - whose grandparents hail from Jamaica - is hoping Tigers fans will get down to watch the international contest and support his benefit.
On his testimonial, Turner - who won the 2014 Grand Final with St Helens and started out his career at Salford Red Devils - said: "It’s going pretty well.
“It’s not been an ideal year for a testimonial but people have shown a lot of support by buying tickets early on which I really appreciate.
“And I know it’s just been announced today that you can pay on the door so I’m hoping a lot of people come out on the night, especially from around Cas.
“They love their rugby league and on a Friday night in Cas it should be great.”
While England’s second-string Knights side have some of the finest young talent in their ranks, Jamaica - who will play in their first World Cup next year - are not short of quality.
Turner’s former Huddersfield team-mates Michael Lawrence and Ash Golding will feature along with Ben Jones-Bishop, the York City Knights winger who won the Grand Final with Leeds Rhinos.
“Bish’ has been picked by England and has been at the very top,” he said.
“He’s been an elite player for a long time and then - as well as Bruno (Lawrence) and Ash - we’ve got massive Super League experience from players like Greg Johnson plus top players in the Championship such as Halifax's James Woodburn-Hall.
“We have a strong team. There’s been some who haven’t been selected due to injuries who will be available for the World Cup and we do have a strong squad.
“It should be a quality night.”