Jake Turpin at Broncos training. Pic Annette Dew
Jake Turpin at Broncos training. Pic Annette Dew

Turpin wants mate Macca’s jersey


BRISBANE hooker Jake Turpin says "healthy" competition for spots, including his own personal duel with mentor Andrew McCullough, are key to a Broncos resurgence this season.

The Broncos returned to training on Monday, kicking off the battle between Turpin and veteran McCullough for the coveted No.9 jersey under second-year coach Anthony Seibold.

Turpin was one of Brisbane's most consistent performers in a rollercoaster 2019, showing enough in 15 games across hooker, halfback and five-eighth to earn a three-year deal before the Broncos' calamitous finals exit.

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The long-serving McCullough mentored 23-year-old Turpin through his own injury-affected season.

While determined to make the hooking role his own, Turpin says he's indebted to McCullough and remains one of the 29-year-old's biggest supporters.

"That's the goal (to be in the starting side) but Macca's been probably one of the best footballers to ever come through this club," Turpin said.

"To have him here training with me every day helps a lot and competition (for spots) is what this club needs. It's very healthy.

"There's no rivalry at all really. We're really close mates off the field we hang out daily and on our days off we catch up for coffees and go for meals and stuff together. I'm pretty much picking his brain every day."

McCullough has taken a mentor role for the youngster. Photo: Annette Dew
McCullough has taken a mentor role for the youngster. Photo: Annette Dew

The pair combined on 12 occasions last year with McCullough largely feeding Turpin from dummy-half, but the arrival of former Melbourne under-20s teammates Brodie Croft is set to shift the balance in Turpin's favour.

"It definitely helps, we played a lot of footy together growing up so we know how each other plays and some things you just know when others are doing it," Turpin said.

"I know what Crofty's doing, what he's thinking and he probably knows what I'm doing, what I'm thinking, so we've gelled pretty well

"(But) I don't think anyone's got a headstart.

"The coaches are watching every single thing on the field and go upstairs and watch it over again five hours a day so they know what we're doing and whoever's right for the team is who they'll want."