Funnell returns for his eighth season with the BNZ Crusaders, making him one of the more experienced members of the squad.
Ben is a cousin of the Whitelock brothers and grew up close by their family farm near Palmerston North. He was a former captain of Palmerston North Boys High School rugby team and was a member of the 2008 NZ Secondary Schools squad. He also captained the Crusader Knights development team in 2012.
He is a tough and uncompromising player who has improved steadily each year since his debut in red and black.