|Weight||82kg (12st 12lb)|
|IRB World Series||37 events|
Qualifying through his English mother enabled Mathew Turner to launch his top-level career on the HSBC Sevens World Series circuit when making his England debut in 2008 at George.
He has gone on to score 89 tries overall, 38 when being the tournament’s top touchdown maker in 2011-12. They included seven in the Dubai tournament – two when England won the Cup by beating France 29-12 in the final. Another 16 of his tries were in 2009-10. They featured ones against the United States and Kenya in Dubai in December 2009. Mat missed the matches in George a week later after undergoing an appendicitis operation but six tries in Wellington in early February 2010 confirmed his recovery.
He has also twice run in six tries in a tournament during recent seasons – in Wellington in February 2010 and Las Vegas a year later – and he bagged 19 tries, along with kicking eight conversions, in eight events in 2010-11.
His try in the 21-21 draw with Australia at Murrayfield in late May had a special meaning because it took England to 1,000 points in the 2009-10 campaign. Overall, the squad amassed 1,037 and conceded 527 in the eight tournaments, spanning 42 matches that season.
Mat signed for Bristol Rugby on a two-year contract in September 2008 and marked his debut with two EDF Energy Cup tries at Northampton. He had represented South Africa U20 and Western Province after playing his schools rugby for Bishops in Cape Town.
After going on to the Western Province Institute in Stellenbosch, he appeared for Western Province U19 and was a regular member of the University of Cape Town team.
No stranger to the UK, he figured in the 2008 IRB U20 World Cup in Wales and also came to England on an exchange and played for Millfield in Somerset. His initial games were at the age of eight for Wynberg Boys and he says that his most memorable rugby experience was winning his first England Sevens cap. He has appeared in all eight tournaments for his country this year including the RWC in Moscow in June, the Gold Coast event in October and the one in Dubai last month.
He appeared in all nine tournaments last year including the RWC in Moscow in June, the Gold Coast event last October, the tournament in Dubai in November and the Nelson Mandela Bay Sevens the following month.
Mat adds: “I’ve moved around the backs. I started playing as a centre and slowly worked my way out to the wing.” Jason Robinson and Christian Cullen are the players he most admires and his favourite ground is Newlands in his native Cape Town. His hobbies are water sports and figure skating.
Last updated: February 13, 2014