Turinui joins list of retired stars returning for Tens
FORMER Wallabies centre Morgan Turinui is the latest player to come out of retirement for the inaugural Brisbane Tens tournament after the Rebels announced his inclusion in their squad.
Turinui - in his first full season with the club since signing midway through last year as the club's backs coach - will pull on the boots for the first time since 2014.
The 35-year-old is the Rebels' wildcard player for the tournament, and he is the latest in a series of former Wallabies making a one-off return, including Chris Latham for the Reds, Lote Tuqiri at the Waratahs and Stephen Larkham and Andrew Walker at the Brumbies.
Rebels coach Tony McGahan said Turinui's playing presence would benefit his squad.
"Morgan has been training alongside our backs during the pre-season to help introduce our new recruits to the club's structures but the Brisbane Tens will provide a unique opportunity to support the ongoing development in a game situation,” McGahan said.
The 20-cap Test back will be joined in the squad by five current Wallabies - Reece Hodge, James Hanson, Sefa Naivalu, Toby Smith and Lopeti Timani - while Fij international Ben Volavola will make his debut for the club.
Code-hopper Marika Koroibete is in doubt for the tournament due to a knee injury.
Recruits Jackson Garden-Bachop, Tyrel Lomax, Jack Maddocks, Murray Douglas and Amanaki Mafi are expected to get their first taste of Rebels action at the tournament.
"We feel there's a good mix of experience and youth in the squad so it's a good opportunity for the senior players to continue their work with integrating the new recruits in a competitive environment,” McGahan said.
"The Brisbane Tens will give us a quality hit out ahead of the 2017 Super Rugby season and an opportunity for the players to put their hands up ahead of the opening round against the Blues.”