ProfileBen Whittaker is a burly and aggressive hooker who returns for his fifth season of Super Rugby with the Emirates Western Force. While only managing four matches for the Emirates Western Force in 2012, the 23-year-old has already amassed 30 Super Rugby caps since making his debut for the Western Australian province in their 55-14 win over the Lions in Perth in 2009. Whittaker was recruited directly from school to join the Emirates Western Force Academy in 2008. He progressed through the RugbyWA development program to make his debut the following year, as well as going on to represent the Australian Under 20’s at the IRB Junior World Championship in Japan. Whittaker, who can also play prop, will provide another valuable front-row option in 2012 combining with the likes of Wallabies Salesi Ma’afu and Pek Cowan, Salesi Manu, Kieran Longbottom, Tetera Faulkner and fellow hooker Nathan Charles.Timeline2006Selected for the Australia A Schoolboys that defeat Tonga Under 18 22-0 in Canberra.2007Breaks his leg playing for Barker College, ruling him out of any representative selection.2008Joins the Emirates Western Force Academy; suffers a thumb injury that disrupts his 2008 season.2009Member of the Emirates Western Force Academy; makes his Super Rugby debut against the Lions in Week 11; plays three Super Rugby matches – all off the bench; member of the Australian Under 20 side that finishes fourth in the IRB Junior World Championship in Japan; starting hooker for Gordon, who finish third in Sydney Shute Shield before being eliminated 53-32 by Randwick in the preliminary final.2010Makes his first Super Rugby run-on start against the Bulls in Week Seven; scores his maiden Super Rugby try in the 24-16 win over the Crusaders in Perth; plays nine Super Rugby matches, starting in six.2011Plays all 14 matches for the Emirates Western Force; plays both matches for Emirates Western Force on their two-match tour of Samoa; member of the Cottesloe side that finishes third in the Premier Grade.2012Plays four matches off the bench for the Emirates Western Force; starts for Emirates Western Force A in the 41-7 win over the Australian Barbarians; starts off the bench for Cottesloe in their preliminary final loss to Associates.
24 MAY 2013