Morgan Paratene Turinui
- 782Wallaby Number
Morgan Turinui was a soft-handed centre with a surprising turn of pace whose subtle skill set consistently created try-scoring opportunities for his outside supports.
Born to a Maori father and an Australian mother, Turinui played his first rugby for the Clovelly Eagles at five years of age. He completed his secondary schooling at Waverley College and played two seasons in the 1st XV (1999-2000). From there Turinui twice represented Australian Schools (1999-2000), the second as captain.
After graduation Turinui debuted for Australia in the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series in Beijing before he won selection for Australia at the inaugural IRB U21s Junior World Championship tournament in South Africa.
In 2003, Turinui made his senior representative debut for New South Wales, off the bench, in their 18-31 loss to Auckland at the S.F.S. and just four months later played his maiden Test, against Ireland in Perth. He then won selection to a first Rugby World Cup squad however his position then came under consistent threat as the selectors showed a preference for Mat Rogers, Matt Burke and Stirling Mortlock in the No. 13 jersey.
In 2005, Turinui enjoyed a breakout season following a switch to inside centre. Despite having finished that year as the incumbent No.12 Turinui did not break into the match day squad throughout the 2006 season and then missed selection for the 2007 Rugby World Cup as Matt Giteau established himself as the Wallabies’ first choice inside centre, a position he went on to dominate through to the end of 2010.
Turinui moved north in 2008 and played three seasons with the Queensland Reds before he ventured to France for three years -- USDax (2010/11) and Stade Français Paris 2011/12-2012/13). He then turned his hand to coaching (Lille Métropole Rugby Club and the Melbourne Rebels) and commentary (Eurosports, FOX Sport and Nine / STAN).
Regarded as one of the great thinking minds in Australian rugby, Turinui became General Manager of the Classic Wallabies in late 2019.
Morgan Turinui played 20 Tests for Australia in a three-year international career.
Represented Australian Schools against New Zealand Schools.
Captained Australian Schools against Ireland Schools and New Zealand Schools.
Represented Australia in the IRB Sevens World Series.
Selected in the Australian squad for the inaugural IRB U21s Junior World Championship tournament in South Africa.
Turinui won his first Test cap at outside centre in the 45-26 victory over Ireland in Perth. He played in the opening three Tests of the season but was not included in the match day squad for the Tri-Nations series. At the Rugby World Cup, Turinui played in one match, as a replacement, the 142-0 defeat of Namibia in Adelaide where he scored his first Test tries.
He played in the opening two Tests of the year against Scotland only to fall out of the squad, primarily due to a combination of fitness and off-the-ball-related issues. An injury to Stirling Mortlock on the Spring Tour saw Turinui return to the team and start at No.12 against England at Twickenham.
Turinui played in all 13 Wallaby Tests and started each of the final seven matches at inside centre.