The Seattle Seawolves re-signed Mat Turner for the 2022 Major League Rugby season. The South African fullback from Cape Town, is 33 years old (34 next week), 5’9″, and 190 lbs.
Mat played 667 minutes in 9 starts and scored 7 points (2 conversions, 1 penalty goal) for 2021. In 2020 he played 400 minutes, started all five matches at fullback, and scored one try. He also played in the World Tens in Bermuda in 2020.
In 2019 He appeared in 15 matches, starting 14, including winning the MLR Championship for the second time, playing 1125 minutes, and scoring 8 tries. He averaged 12.5 carrying meters per in 2019, running 1,358 meters. He is a team leader, as well as a catalyst in the team’s attack. What is also apparent is his defense prevented numerous tries during the season.
Mat initially signed with the team in 2017 and had a dual player role and served as the Director Of Operations for the Seawolves. During the 2018 season, he started 10 matches, playing 800 minutes and scoring 4 tries.
Turner attended Western Province Preparatory School in Claremont, a suburb of Cape Town, and then transferred to Bishops College. While at the latter, he played first XV rugby in 2006 and finished as the top scorer in school rugby in the country, scoring 286 points.
After finishing high school, he joined the Western Province Academy and represented the Western Province in the 2007 Under-19 Provincial Championship. In 2008, he played for the University of Cape Town Ikea Tigers in the Varsity Cup competition. That year, he also was selected to the South Africa Under-20s training squad, as well as the Western Province squad for the 2008 Under-21 Provincial Championship.
In 2008, Turner moved to England to join Premiership side Bristol and made an instant impact by scoring his first try within three minutes of coming on to the field in that year’s Anglo-Welsh Cup. He also made his debut in the English Premiership against the Northampton Saints.
In 2009, Turner played for the Southern Kings in their first-ever match against the British and Irish Lions on 16 June 2009 during their South Africa tour.
Turner qualified to play internationally for England through his English mother and was selected for the England Sevens team and played in the first two legs of the 2009-10 IRB Sevens World Series. He became a regular for England and eventually went on to play a total of 34 Sevens World Series tournaments between 2009 and 2013, scoring 92 tries. In 2012, Turner was also nominated for the IRB Sevens Player of the Year award and was the top try scorer of the series in the same year with 37.
In 2012 and 2015, Turner played for the Central Kings in Sri Lanka at the Carlton International 7s tournament. In August 2015, he was appointed as the head coach of the Sri Lanka national rugby sevens team, leading them to 2nd overall in the Asia Nation 7s for the first time.
Following his first season with the Seattle Seawolves, Turner played rugby sevens for Tiger Rugby at the Rugbytown 7s with the team making it to the finals in 2018 and was a Pool winner in 2019. He played for the Washington Athletic Club in the USA Rugby Club 7s Nationals in 2018 and 2019.
Mat Turner is a certified Level 200 World Rugby coach and was the head coach of the Sri Lanka National Rugby Sevens team in 2015, leading them to second overall in the Asia Nation 7s for the first time ever.