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    Hooker commits to Brumbies, signs new 2-year deal

    2018-08-17 12:04

    Cape Town - Hooker Connal McInerney has committed his future to the Brumbies by agreeing to a new two-year deal with the Super Rugby club, which will keep him in the capital until 2020. 

    McInerney, who was impressive as a replacement hooker during the 2018 Super Rugby season, is no stranger to Canberra having played his formative years in the game in the ACT representing Canberra Royals with distinction. 

    “I am extremely excited about continuing my rugby career with the Brumbies in Canberra,” the front-rower said. 

    “I didn’t expect to play Super Rugby last season, so to get that opportunity was a bonus. It was just an incredible feeling to win my Brumbies cap at GIO Stadium and then to join up with the team for the second half of the South African tour. 

    “I have learned a lot of the other hookers at the club and off the senior professionals and I am looking forward to developing my game throughout my time at the Brumbies. It’s a great club, one that I am proud to be a part of, and I am excited about what the future holds.” 

    The front-rower became Brumby #204 when he came off the bench in the Round 6 victory over the Sharks at GIO Stadium, replacing Folau Fainga’a in the 77th minute. 

    Called over to South Africa as cover for the injured Robbie Abel, McInerney made his second Brumbies appearance in the unfamiliar position of back-row when Isi Naisarani was forced to leave the field, before winning a first start in the subsequent home victory over the Sunwolves. 

    Head coach Dan McKellar was delighted that McInerney had agreed to commit to the club, bolstering the team’s options at hooker which will include Folau Fainga’a and veteran Josh Mann-Rea. 

    “Connal has come through our pathway system, playing Australian Schoolboys and in our U20 set-up as well as playing for the Junior Wallabies and being involved with Canberra Vikings and Royals,” McKellar said. 

    “He has developed very nicely and has had an opportunity this year on the back of injuries and proven that he is capable of performing at Super Rugby level. For a hooker he’s got very good fitness, his set-piece is solid and, like any young, developing player, that is going to continue to improve.” 

    “He’s a smart footballer, very busy and finds the seam well in attack and he also has good on-ball presence in defence, and on the back of his conditioning he has a very good work rate. 

    “A couple of years ago the position was probably an area of concern for us, but with the development of Connal, Folau Fainga’a and Josh Mann-Rea we have good depth in that position.”

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