PHOTOS: Turpin at Eddies' and Confraternity Shield blues
BRISBANE Bronco Jake Turpin was only too happy to answer the call from his former school St Edmund's College.
The promising hooker who equipped himself with courage and skill while standing in for the injured Andrew McCullough was on hand to present the Firsts rugby league team with their jerseys ahead of the Confraternity Shield.
Having attended 'Eddies' from year nine-12 and formed many fond memories and lasting bonds, Turpin said it was an easy decision to give back to the school.
PHOTOS OF THE FIRST GAME:
"I was never going to say no," he said.
The determined dummy half, who linked with the Melbourne Storm the day after graduation, credits 'Eddies' with instilling into him many of the qualities he prides himself on today and said he owed the institution a great debt.
"'Eddies' men are good men," he said.
"You might not be the best in your studies or sport but as long as you are a good person, you will go a long way in life.
"They just want you to be a good man. I have a lot to thank 'Eddies' for."
Turpin said in his mind the most significant aspect of a St Edmund's education was the mateship fostered among peers.
"It was such a tight bunch,' he said.
"Everyone loved everyone. Everyone got on.
"We had such a tight group of friends - a really close brotherhood."
The proud old boy said St Edmund's had a rich rugby league history, with players like Maroon Joe Ofahengaue and Ipswich Jet Rory Humphries other ex-pupils to rise to prominence in recent memory.
He said he had no doubt the current crop would look to continue those traditions at this week's Confraternity Shield Carnival which began on Monday at Bundaberg.
"The school has a really good rugby league background," Turpin said.
"Eddies are not the best team but they definitely always have a crack.
"They put in 100 per cent and give it their all every match."
The 22-year-old said the Confraternity carnival was the only chance he had to play league during his time as a student as rugby union was the primary code at St Edmund's.
However, he said the school's rugby union teams had their own unique style owing to the fact many players favoured league and featured locally in the Ipswich competition.
"We played footy," he said.
"We kept it in the hands, never kicked and threw it around."
Turpin said Confraternity was a punishing but equally rewarding tournament with teams playing multiple games per day across the week.
"It is tough but that toughness suits Eddies because that's the sort of blue collar school that it is," he said.
"It was also a lot of fun.
"We had plenty of good times off the field."
On the field, the Brothers junior's career is progressing rapidly.
Presented a chance this season at the Broncos, Turpin seized it with intent.
"It has obviously been good to play regular first grade," he said.
"I'm happy to get an opportunity and I'm loving every minute."
The fast-emerging professional's form has been so impressive that fans were calling for him to keep his starting position ahead of 2018 Queensland number 9 McCullough.
With the return of the Brisbane stalwart, Turpin has been relegated to the bench.
Rather than throw his toys out of the cot, he has shown a willingness to learn from McCullough, whom he considers one of the game's best in the position.
"I'm learning something new off him every day," he said.
"I'm just really excited to be in the team and hopefully I can bring some energy when I get on."
Struggling for consistency, the Broncos desperately need to start winning games if they are to make a last-ditch run to the finals.
Backing his teammates and coach Anthony Seibold, Turpin said the squad had the talent and belief to turn the season around.