Jake Turpin hopes “best mate” Andrew McCullough remains in Brisbane this NRL season, even if it robs him of a starting role at the Broncos.
Last year’s wooden spooners welcomed the hooker back from a loan deal at Newcastle after his 2020 season was cut short due to a serious hamstring tear.
Turpin had established himself as the club’s first-choice hooker even before McCullough’s absence until hand and leg fractures ended his season too.
McCullough has been linked to another exit – this time to St George Illawarra – but at this stage remains part of Kevin Walters’ plans at Red Hill for 2021.
Just what they are doesn’t faze Turpin, who has been impressed by Walters’ demeanour since replacing Anthony Seibold at the helm.
“Whatever’s best for the team is what I model my footy on every year,” Turpin, who has put on 5kg after playing at 80kg last season, said.
“So if that’s being starting nine or 14 coming off the bench … whatever gets results and whatever I’m needed for is what I’ll do.
“I’d love him (McCullough) to stay; I (want to) learn everything I can off him and we’re good mates, he was literally my favourite player growing up.”
The squad will look to soak up that culture when they head to Twin Waters on the Sunshine Coast for a week-long pre-season camp this week.
“He’s (Walters) brought in that winning culture – not just winning games, but it’s in the gym, in training, cleaning up upstairs – he’s just a winner Kevvie,” Turpin said of Walters, who was a five-time premiership player at the club.
“The boys (will be) playing pranks on each other every day, eating dinner, lunch and breakfast together.
“It’s important for our year, a little stepping stone to what’s ahead.”