This weekend, South Sydney will retire jersey number 15 in memory of Kyle Turner, a premiership- winner who has sorely passed away at the age of 31. Kyle Turner, a protean forward who made 91 first- grade appearances for the Rabbitohs between 2014 and 2019, passed away on Friday. In addition to the withdrawal of his jersey number, black armbands will be worn by the Rabbitohs in homage to Turner during Sunday’s match against Newcastle. Rabbitohs principal superintendent Blake Solly expressed,” Kyle was an amazing human being. He epitomized the country boy rugby league player. He was such a tough, exacting player on the field, yet a lovely, generous man off the field. We’ll hold him close to our hearts for the rest of this season and in the times to come. Vale Kyle Turner.”
Turner had started from the bench in the side’s failure- breaking 2014 grand final palm, marking the capstone of a novitiate season that included 24 games. He also represented NSW Country in the final Cityvs. Country institution in 2017 and had the honour of playing for the Indigenous All Stars in 2015 and 2017. Injuries had hampered Turner’s time in first- grade, including a significant neck injury suffered in the 2015 All Stars match, which needed slice relief surgery.
Despite these challenges, Turner remained a cherished figure at Redfern and was honoured with the Burrow sympathizers Group Appreciation Award at the club’s awards night in 2016. In 2019, he fell out of favor under the Rabbitohs’ new trainer Wayne Bennett, who advised him to explore openings away starting from 2020. Turner returned to his birthplace of Coonabarabran in northern NSW, where he played for the original platoon, the Coonabarabran Unicorns, and pursued a career as a teacher. In a show of respect, the Coonabarabran Unicorns will also wear black armbands this weekend in honor of Kyle Turner, whose cause of death remains unknown.