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Turgut to complete comeback with Turkey in ANZAC Day clash

Former Super League star Jansin Turgut will cap a remarkable comeback with Turkey in the curtain-raiser to the Dragons-Roosters ANZAC Day clash after recovering from life-threatening injuries sustained in a fall from a car park in Spain.

Turgut, who played 42 matches for Hull FC and Salford, fractured his spine, broke his pelvis, both legs and knees and had facial reconstruction after breaking every breaking every bone in his face during the third story fall at the end of the 2019 season.

The 26-year-old toured Australia in 2019 with the Hull FC squad that played Wigan in an historic Super League match at WIN Stadium and St George Illawarra in a double-header, in which South Sydney also hosted Wigan.  

After captaining Turkey in the 2018 Emerging Nations World Cup, Turgut joined the nation's coaching staff last year and will pull on the boots in the ANZAC Day match against the Australian Defence Force at the SCG.

He resumed playing with West Hull earlier this year after receiving a medial clearance.

Turkish Rugby League Association president Gurol Yildiz  said Turgut is one of four players who have travelled from England and Germany to join Turkish players based in Australia for the match, which will be live-streamed on NRL.com.

With the match against the ADF now in it's second year, Yildiz said he hoped it would become an annual event and eventually be expanded so Turkey played an ANZAC team comprising players from New Zealand as well as Australia.

"It is so unique, it has to become an annual event," Yildiz said. "This is a true ANZAC Day game that brings Turks and Australians together, so it is wonderful. Hopefully one day we can have the New Zealanders involved too."

Turkey played the ADF for the first time on ANZAC Day in 2021
Turkey played the ADF for the first time on ANZAC Day in 2021 ©Gregg Porteous/NRL Photos

While the Kangaroos, Kiwis and Pacific nations have not played since 2019 due to the outbreak of the global COVID-19 pandemic, Turkey hosted a qualifying tournament for the 2025 World Cup in Bodrum last October.  

The European D Championships, which featured Turkey, Czech Republic, Netherlands and Malta, was won by Netherlands, who will continue their bid to qualify for RLWC2025 in France next year.

Turkey's focus is now on the 2029 World Cup, although the nation's women's team can still qualify for a place at the expanded 16-team 2025 tournament.

Under the guidance of Yildiz, the game in Turkey has grown to now include eight men’s teams, four women’s teams and four U18s male sides, as well increasing an increasing international presence.

Turkey's men's and women's teams are ranked 19th and 10th respectively, according to the IRL rankings released last December.

Match Highlights: ADF v Turkey

“We have got two players from the UK and two from Germany, who have come out for the ANZAC Day match," Yildiz said.

"Jansin Turgut, who played for Hull and Salford, will be playing. He has been through a lot but he is back now and he has a wonderful story about all the challenges he has gone through.

"We had some others wanting to make the trip but they are all amateurs so it is difficult for them to come until we can get a lot more commercial interest to upscale it."

Turkey play the Australian Defence Force at 1.50pm, Monday 25 April at the SCG. The match will be live-streamed on NRL.com.

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