Castleford Tigers star Jordan Turner is hoping that Rugby League supporters will turn out in force at the Mend-a-Hose Jungle this Friday night, when Jamaica will play the England Knights for the second time, after the two teams clashed at Headingley in 2019.
The Knights defeated Jamaica 38-6 on that occasion, but Turner is confident that the Jamaicans will improve significantly from that outing.
“I’m really looking forward to it and I’m hoping for a big crowd,” Turner told League Express.
And prolific try scorer Turner, who scored 17 tries in the Cup and Super League in 2021, has one very good reason for hoping that fans will rally to the game, given that it will double up not just as a much-needed international match for both sides, but it will also be his benefit match, after he was awarded a testimonial by the RFL for his services to the game since his Salford debut as a teenager in 2006.
Since then he has played for Hull FC, St Helens (with whom he won a Grand Final in 2014), Canberra Raiders, Huddersfield Giants and, in 2021, Castleford Tigers.
The Jamaicans will also take on Scotland at Featherstone’s Millennium Stadium on Sunday 24 October.
“In the last two years we have got more players on board, while Alex Simmons and Jason Robinson have boosted our reputation off the field,” said Turner.
“There are going to be some really promising players turning out for the England Knights, who will also be playing for the first time since 2019 and they deserve to be seen by as many fans as possible.”
Turner qualifies to play for Jamaica through his paternal grandmother, who was part of the Windrush generation who came to England in the late 1950s and 1960s.
“Around the same era my grandad and grandma on my mum’s side decided to move to Australia to work in the steel works in Wollongong. They were only there for five years before returning, but my mother was born there and because of that I’m able to claim an Australian passport,” he added.
Turner admits he’s looking forward to working with new Castleford coach Lee Radford from next season, but that isn’t his main focus now.
“I’ve spoken to Lee a few times and I have a very good relationship with him from my time at Hull when we played together.
“My focus now is just on these Jamaica games.
“There is a keen following for the sport in Jamaica, where a lot of people are passionate about sport. If it hadn’t been for the pandemic we might have been playing these games over there.
“It is a dream of mine to go over there and play a game in Jamaica.
“I’m certain that if we did play there, against the England Knights for example, a lot of people would book holidays to go over and watch an international game in Jamaica.
“That is something we dream of in Jamaican Rugby League.”
Family ticket for Friday’s game are priced at £22.25, adult tickets at £11.25 and junior tickets at £6.00.
To buy tickets for this Friday’s game, go to https://www.skiddle.com/whats-on/Wakefield/Castleford-Tigers/Jamaica-Rugby-League-vs-England-Knights/35898114/
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