Turinui preparing for rugby return

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

When Morgan Turinui agreed to be the Rebels wildcard for the Brisbane Tens, he didn’t think it would actually happen.

The former Wallabies centre was still coming to terms with the realities of his comeback.

“I'm putting my hand up because the boys have said, ‘Let’s play, it'd be great to play together’,” he said.

“I said, ‘Oh yeah I will,’ and when I found out I actually was playing, it was a bit of a reality check. - Morgan Turinui

“It's a good opportunity for me to run around with our players”

Turinui has no delusions of grandeur ahead of the tournament, particularly with the steamy conditions predicted at Suncorp Stadium.

“Sometimes when we're a coach you forget what it's like to be a player so I think I'll remember very quickly if it does get to 40 on Saturday or Sunday at Suncorp,” he said.

“I'll be looking for some places to hide in both shade and when some of those big blokes are running down my channel.”

Former Wallaby Morgan Turinui has joined the Melbourne Rebels as an assistant coach. Photo: Getty ImagesTurinui is taking his preparation slowly for the competition, after three years in retirement.

“I’m on a three-year taper, so i'll probably just continue to taper,” he said.

“You don't want to peak too early, I’ll be doing  some good saltwater recover on the Gold Coast beforehand.

“I'm hoping as a team, we'll be able to help each other through.

“There'll be a lot of communication from me in defence - ‘yours, yours, yours,’ probably not unlike my normal playing days.”

Morgan Turinui reckons not much has changed for him since his playing days. Photo: Getty ImagesOn a more serious note, Turinui said the Tens competition would be a valuable opportunity for the Rebels’ new-look backline, which suffered a 27-5 loss to the Force on Monday night at Bond University.

“We've worked on identifying space and using opportunities, not waiting and playing a possession game but really using the opportunities given to us,” he said.

“The Tens will be a really good exponent of that because there will be space out there, there will be the seduction of width as well, so it'll be a really good challenge for us to identify where the real opportunities are and not waiting to take them.”

The Rebels will take on the Chiefs, Panasonic Wild Knights and Waratahs in their Tens pool.