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Brumbies add more Super Rugby depth for 2014

Jack Whetton of Auckland on the charge in the ITM Cup

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Article Published: Thursday 24 October 2013|

Super Rugby finalists the Brumbies have announced the addition of three players to their 2014 Super Rugby squad with the signatures of Jack Whetton, Lionel Cronje and Conrad Hoffmann all moving to Australia's capital in the coming weeks.

At 2m tall, second-rower Whetton becomes the Brumbies third line-out jumper to break the 1.99m barrier alongside Sam Carter and Leon Power. Whetton comes from a champion bloodline with his father Gary representing the All Blacks on more than 50 occasions.

Just 21 years old, Whetton has given every indication he has a big future ahead of him having already spent two seasons in New Zealand's ITM Cup, first with Northland and later with Auckland.

"I monitored Jack's performance closely through the ITM Cup and was impressed with his mobility and work ethic," Forwards Coach Laurie Fisher said.

"He has plenty of rough edges but a genuine desire to maximise his ability. He will fit well into the program and with hard work will make the gains both he and we desire."

Whetton's grandfather was born in Australia granting him Australian residency while Hoffmann and Cronje come to the Brumbies on foreign contracts.

At scrumhalf, Hoffmann has spent time with the Sharks and Stormers at Super Rugby level. Representing South Africa, Hoffmann was part of the Junior Boks Under 19 team which contested the Junior World Cup in 2006.

Since then he has cut his teeth as a premier scrumhalf earning one cap with the Stormers in 2008 before shifting to the Sharks where he featured 11 times in 2011.

Cronje is a big flyhalf who can kick, run and tackle like a textbook South African 10. A journeyman of the South African rugby scene, Cronje has featured for various teams at both Super Rugby and Currie Cup level, including the Cheetahs, Western Province, Stormers, Bulls and Golden Lions.

A South African national player at Under 20's level in 2009, Cronje will be looking to cement a spot for himself during his time in Canberra.

"Both these players come highly recommended by coaches and players who have worked with them in the past," Brumbies Backs Coach, Stephen Larkham said on Thursday.

"Since we started speaking to Lionel and Conrad I've been excited about them joining the program. I'm sure they will enjoy their time here in Canberra playing for the Brumbies."

Lionel Cronje
Two year contract
H/W: 1.84m, 94kg
SR Caps: 7 (Stormers)

Conrad Hoffmann
Two year contract
H/W: 1.81m, 88kg
SR Caps: 11 (1 Stormers; 11 Sharks)

Jack Whetton
One year contract
H/W: 2m, 114kg
SR Caps: Uncapped


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