Jordan Turner: World Cup debutants Jamaica building for long-term future

Drew Darbyshire
Jordan Turner Jamaica SWpix

Photo: Allan McKenzie/SWpix

Jordan Turner says Jamaica are only just getting started in rugby league ahead of their debut in the end of year World Cup.

The Reggae Warriors will become the first-ever Caribbean nation to compete at a Rugby League World Cup this autumn.

Turner was born and raised in England but is of Jamaican descent through his grandparents. He made his Jamaica debut last autumn against the England Knights.

Jamaica have been drawn in a group alongside New Zealand, Ireland and Lebanon at this year’s World Cup. Turner says cannot wait to represent his ancestral homeland again.

Turner told Love Rugby League: “It is an exciting year. The World Cup is quite a long way away at the minute and while I’m excited about it, I’m not really focusing on it at the minute.

“This project for us not just about saying ‘we’ve done our bit, we’ve played in the World Cup’. It is more of a building phase. I know the people in charge of Jamaica Rugby League have brought in some young lads to try and build a team in the future that can hopefully compete in the next World Cup.”

“It is exciting to be a part of”

Turner added: “There is a five to 10-year plan to integrate people into rugby league from Jamaica. We’ve got a lot on our shoulders as a playing group.

“We need to expand the game and if we as a group don’t expand the game in Jamaica then we haven’t done our job.

“Rugby league in Jamaica is quite new and there are a few years that have seen a stop to development but it is a long-term plan for Jamaica. It is exciting to be a part of.

“Hopefully I can hang around until the next World Cup and be a part of that. Any time that Jamaica need me, I’ll always be available and I’ll try my best to do my best to promote rugby league in Jamaica.”

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Jordan Turner Jamaica SWpix
Photo: Allan McKenzie/SWpix

Turner has even been back on the island to visit Newcombe Valley in St Elizabeth, the birthplace of his grandmother and auntie.

Whilst he hasn’t been able to get over to Jamaica in recent years due to the coronavirus pandemic, he hopes to return soon.

He continued: “I went back to my grandma’s village in Newcombe Valley in St Elizabeth. It is way up in the mountains and tourists can’t really get to it.

“My auntie who was born there came with us and picked us up and took us into the mountains. It was an eye-opener.

“It was an amazing experience and it was humbling to see where I truly come from. I’m looking to go back. I was hoping to go back over the last couple of years but that’s not been possible but I’ll be going back the first chance I get.”

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