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AG Signs Prop Jake Turnbull

January 22, 2021 - Major League Rugby (MLR) - Austin Gilgronis News Release

AUSTIN, TX - The AGs are thrilled to announce the signing of Australian American prop, Jake Turnbull. Turnbull played heavy minutes with Old Glory DC last season and brings with him five years of professional rugby experience to the AGs.

Turnbull landed in Austin this week and has already begun working with his childhood idols and now coaches, Sam Harris and Mark Gerrard. "Sam and Mark are absolute legends in Australia and I know exactly where they're coming from when it comes to their aspirations, ambitions, and attitude," says Turnbull. "It just seemed like a no-brainer; it was just an unreal opportunity."

The 26-year-old Australian born prop is USA eligible, and has twice appeared for the USA selects since 2016. Before his stop in DC, Turnbull played the 2018 and 2019 seasons with the Houston Sabercats, so he is certainly familiar with the Texas Cup rivalry.

Turnbull spent many of his free weekends commuting from Houston to Austin to enjoy the young, active city. "In my opinion, Austin is the best city to live in," says Turnbull. "So it didn't take much for me to make the decision." Turnbull also has a handful of family members in central Texas that frequent the capital city, he's relishing the opportunity to play in front of them once again.

With Old Glory last season, the prop averaged 60 minutes per match through the five-match shortened season and played the full 80 minutes in three of those matches. He averaged 18 meters on 5 carries per match and totaled 54 tackles at a 93% made tackle percentage.

It didn't take long for AGs Head Coach Sam Harris to figure out Jake Turnbull was a match for the AGs. "I was aware of Jake from watching footage from the MLR games before I found out that Jake had some family in Austin and that he is Australian and has a US passport," says Sam Harris. "He was ticking a lot of boxes, and the more footage I watched and discussions I had; it became clear, Jake was tailor-made for the AGs."

Turnbull joins a fortified prop unit with Jamie Mackintosh, Paddy Ryan, Mason Pedersen, and LaRome White. "Jake's standout trait is his work rate in attack and defense," says Sam Harris. "As a scrummager, Jake is developing but I think with 'Whopper' [Jamie Mackintosh] giving guidance and being part of a strong front-row group, Jake will take his scrummaging to the next level."

Turnbull played for the Glendale Raptors in 2014 and won the Pacific Rugby Premiership, then went back to Australia to play for his home club Randwick. In 2016, Turnbull returned to the United States; signing for the Denver Stampede in the now-defunct PRO Rugby America league. Turnbull played alongside Will Magie on that Denver squad and went on to win the competition. Five years later, Magie and Turnbull are reunited as teammates in Austin.

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