In a new city and at a new club, Jake Turpin is ready to reinvent himself in the Red, White and Blue of the Sydney Roosters.
The 26-year-old has racked up 60 NRL matches since debuting in his hometown of Brisbane in 2018, with the nuggety hooker a mainstay for the Broncos throughout.
Now looking to expand his horizons and propel his career to a new level, Turpin has headed to Sydney’s east and has embraced the move since arriving for pre-season.
“I’m loving being here at the Roosters,” Turpin said.
“The boys have welcomed me with open arms and I’m enjoying my first few weeks here.
“I’m living in the east, it’s a really nice area to be in. I’ve never actually lived near a beach in my life so it’s been good in that way.
“It’s really refreshing to come in here to a new environment. The coaches have been going above and beyond to help me out and to learn the way the Roosters play.
“It’s a really good Club and one that I admired from afar at other clubs. When the opportunity came up I was definitely keen.”
While he might be in a brand-new environment, the Rugby League network has a tendency to reunite familiar faces no matter what the situation and Turpin has plenty of former teammates dotted throughout the Roosters’ 2023 NRL squad.
Front rower Matt Lodge is someone Turpin is particularly keen to not only reconvene with on the training paddock and in the lunch room but at the front of the scrum as well.
“I’m pretty close with Lodgey, I spent some time with him in Melbourne and Brisbane,” he said.
“I’ve got a lot of respect for him. He’s a person who took me under his wing when I was 17 and just moved to Melbourne. I’ve got a lot of time for him and it’s really good to be here with him again.
“I know Connor (Watson) a little bit as well just from playing against him for a few years. After games, we’d stop and talk with one another. He’s a legend and a really nice down to earth fella.
“I actually played a bit of juniors with Lindsay Collins too, so there’s a few guys there who I’m looking forward to reunite with.”
One of the burning questions heading into the 2023 season is who will fill the vacancy of the no.9 jersey.
And while Turpin is vying to take on the hooking role which has been held by famous names across the Club’s long and distinguished history, his arrival wasn’t dictated solely by a chance to wear a number on his back.
It’s really refreshing to come in here to a new environment. The coaches have been going above and beyond to help me out and to learn the way the Roosters play.
Jake Turpin Roosters 2023 Recruit
“It was just a really good opportunity to come to a really good Club with really good principles and structure,” Turpin explained.
“That’s the best way I play football, to be honest. I probably went away from that over the last few years.
“I spent a lot of time with Brandon in Melbourne so I’m keen to work with him when he gets back to training.
“But to come to a Club like this and learn so much and get back to the football I know I can play, whatever happens with the team structure I’m just looking forward to playing the style of football I know I can.
“I really pride myself on being a team player but whatever Robbo (Trent Robinson) and the team needs, I’ll 100% put my hand up for whatever that is.
“I’ll put my best foot forward for what’s required for the team to win football games on the weekend.”
One aspect of the Club’s set up has caught Turpin’s attention has been the involvement of former Roosters in a coaching capacity.
With Jason Ryles as Assistant Coach, Cooper Cronk making guest appearances on the training paddock and the presence of Mitchell Aubusson, the Roosters are brimming with experience from top to bottom.
But one Club legend, who shares both name and position, has stood out for Turpin – that of course being former Premiership-winning Captain, Jake Friend.
“Growing up I followed him pretty closely,” he said.
“He was one of my favourite players as a kid and just going to training, seeing the ex-players that are still involved is pretty cool.
“Having someone like Friendy there is great and I’m keen to learn a lot from him.”