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Force lock in Hockings for two years

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The Emirates Western Force has today announced the re-signing of boom lock Tom Hockings on a two year deal.


The Bowen-born was a revelation in the WA side’s 2008 campaign, cementing a place in the starting XV after he was called on as a last minute-replacement for captain Nathan Sharpe in the season-opening clash with the Sharks in Durban.


He started all but the final three matches of the season at lock, before being rubbed out of representative calculations when he succumbed to nerve damage in his right shoulder.


RugbyWA General Manager Rugby, Mitch Hardy, said the new deal ties Hockings to the club for the 2009 season, with an option for 2010.


‘Tom was one of the major finds of the competition this season and we are happy with the outcome of his contract negotiations,’ said Hardy.


‘The deal has been sorted for some weeks now and we we’re just waiting on final sign off,’ he added.


Hardy, a 7-Test Wallaby from 1997-99, predicted Hockings will be a representative player of the future.


‘Unfortunately Tom suffered a shoulder injury which put him out of contention for rep footy this season but had he been available for selection I’m sure he would have been there or thereabouts. No doubt he’s one the selectors will be keeping a close eye on over the next 12 months.’


Hockings, 22, said his 2008 season had exceeded his own expectations.


‘I was lucky to get an opportunity in the first game of the season when Sharpie was struck down with food poisoning, but it just built from there and I felt more comfortable and confident with each game,’ said Hockings.


‘I didn’t expect to start 10 games this season with the calibre of players we have at the lock position, but I made the most of my opportunities and thoroughly enjoyed the experience of playing Super 14.’


The 110kg lock will miss next month’s five-week UK development tour after undergoing shoulder surgery earlier this month.


‘I had surgery about three weeks ago and it’s disappointing that I won’t get to go on the UK tour, but it gives me the chance to rehabilitate and recover in time for the pre-season,’ said Hockings.


Hockings said he was looking forward to his future in Perth.


‘Perth is a fantastic place and I’ve really enjoyed my time here since I moved over from Queensland. It’s a bit like Brisbane, but with beaches and less traffic issues’perfect really.’


FACT FILE


Tom Hockings
Position: Lock
Physical: 1.99m, 110kg
Age: 22 (Born 22/2/1986, Bowen, QLD)
Super 14 Caps: 10
Super 14 Points: 5 (1t)
Super 14 Debut: 2008 v Sharks, Durban
Representative Honours: Australian Under 21s (2006), Australian Under 19s (2005).

 

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