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Rugby Wisdom Podcast - Mat Turne: Seattle Seawolves & England 7s

September 02, 2020 3 min read

July 22, 2020

Craig Wilson was born in England and is currently the men's and women's Head Coach at Yale University. Wilson was internationally capped for the Hong Kong National Team and has represented professional academies at Leicester Tigers and Northampton Saints. He has played in both the Scottish and Hong Kong premiership and coached the India National Team at both XV’s and sevens.

Mat has been a professional player for 12 years and has represented England 7s at 34 World Sevens Series Tournaments, scoring 92 tries. More recently, Mat has played for the Seattle Seawolves in Major League Rugby, winning the championship twice in 2018 and 2019. Mat will continue with the Seawolves as a player-coach for the 2021 season. 

Rugby Wisdom Podcast

Mat Turner

Craig Wilson:Thank you for tuning into Rugby Wisdom in 3 with me, Craig Wilson. This is the impactful podcast that does not impact your time. On today’s show, I’m joined by Mat Turner. Mat has been a professional player for 12 years and has represented England sevens at 34 World Sevens Series tournaments, scoring 92 tries. More recently, Mat has played for the Seattle Seawolves in Major League Rugby, winning the championship twice in 2018 and 2019. Mat will continue with the Seawolves as a player coach this coming season. 

Mat, welcome to the podcast. 

Mat Turner: Hey, Craig. Thanks for having me on. 

Craig Wilson: It’s a pleasure to have you on the podcast, Mat. You’ve had a wonderful career to date and it’s still going strong in the U.S. So, why did you join Major League Rugby and what advice would you give to other professionals considering the same move? 

Mat Turner: For me, it was a life decision. You know, to come to America and play rugby is an awesome opportunity when it popped up. I’ve obviously been lucky enough to play for England, play over in England, play in South Africa, so rugby’s really enabled me to travel the world and see places I’ve always wanted to go to, and when the opportunity came up, there was no hesitation to get over here and see what America’s got to offer. And then upon arriving here and doing a little bit more research, finding out where the game is, one thing that every professional should want to do is give back to the game, and my opportunity is over here to give back to the game, which is awesome for us older guys. It gives us that opportunity in the palm of our hands to give back. 

And then from junior younger players, if it is an option for you to come over here, something that I always look at is when I was playing in England, I was getting in a bus and driving to an opposition. Over here, you have to jump in a plane, fly four hours, and you’re in another state, which as we all know, over here every state’s like a different country. And for me, that has just been amazing to see all the states around and just play rugby in front of different crowds. For where the league’s going, there’s just huge potential. You can’t cap it. If America bites onto rugby, this is where everyone’s gonna come. This is where all the players are gonna want to come and play rugby, and this West Coast-East Coast rivalry is gonna really start going when that happens. 

But from a Major League point of view, for me it’s just so exciting. The potential of the game and the growth of the game over here over the last two seasons has been huge. And if a team reaches out to you, don’t look at the numbers that’s on the piece of paper. Look at the opportunity and the lifestyle. Unlike France and everything, you don’t have to learn a new language, but you’re gonna play some good rugby, but you’re also gonna be part of something really special. 

Craig Wilson: Mat, I really appreciate your time. Looking forward to seeing you back in action with Seattle soon, and all the best, mate. 

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