South Sydney NRL premiership-winner Kyle Turner dies aged 31

South Sydney NRL premiership-winner Kyle Turner dies aged 31

South Sydney will retire jersey number 15 this weekend in memory of premiership-winner Kyle Turner, who has died at 31.

The versatile forward, who made 91 first-grade appearances for the Rabbitohs between 2014 and 2019, passed away on Friday.

Aside from retiring his jersey number, the Rabbitohs will wear black armbands in tribute to Turner during Sunday’s match against Newcastle.

“Kyle was an amazing human being,” said Rabbitohs chief executive Blake Solly.

“He epitomised the country boy rugby league player. He was such a tough, uncompromising player on the field, yet a lovely, generous man off the field.

“We will hold him close to our hearts for the rest of this season and in the years to come. Vale Kyle Turner.”

Kyle Turner sits in a stand and looks at the camera

Kyle Turner won a NRL premiership with South Sydney.(Getty Images: Brendon Thorne)

He started from the bench in the side’s drought-breaking 2014 grand final victory, the culmination of a rookie season that yielded 24 games.

He represented NSW Country in the last City vs Country fixture in 2017 and twice played for the Indigenous All Stars in 2015 and 2017.

Injury hampered Turner’s time in first-grade. He notably suffered a serious neck injury in the 2015 All Stars match that forced him to undergo disc replacement surgery.

But Turner remained a fan favourite at Redfern, receiving the Burrow Supporters Group Appreciation Award at the club’s awards night in 2016.

In 2019, he fell out of favour under the Rabbitohs’ new coach Wayne Bennett, who told him to look elsewhere for opportunities from 2020.

He returned to his hometown of Coonabarabran in northern NSW, where he played for locals the Coonabarabran Unicorns and became a schoolteacher.

The Unicorns will wear black armbands this weekend in tribute to Turner.

His cause of death is unknown.


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