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Huge interest: Hopoate junior in NRL bidding war

Discussion in 'Rugby League Forum' started by Berkeley_Eagle, May 29, 2008.

  1. Berkeley_Eagle

    Berkeley_Eagle Current Status: 24/7 Manly Fan 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    Huge interest: Hopoate junior in NRL bidding war
    John Hopoate's son William nothing like dad

    By James Phelps | May 29, 2008

    [​IMG]JOHN Hopoate has just one message for his rising rugby league star son: "Don't do what I did boy."

    With his son William at the centre of an NRL bidding war, the former Manly bad-boy last night warned fans not to expect a "chip off the old block".

    "He is nothing like me," Hopoate said.

    "I have made sure of that. I am very hard on him and very big on discipline."

    Several NRL clubs are trying to sneak under Manly's guard and snare Hopoate junior after the 15-year-old starred for Sydney at the NSW CHS selection trials this week.

    Looking more like Israel Folau than his father, the off-contract centre yesterday scored a try as Sydney proved to good for Western NSW.

    "It wasn't until he was 12 that he started showing anything," Hopoate said.

    "He has always been a good defender, he used to chop people down, but that was it. But when he got to 12 he just shot up and got all this pace.

    "I don't know where it came from. He didn't get it from me. And he is pretty strong now. I am still the boss and beat him when we wrestle."

    William, the eldest of Hopoate's eight children, was only eight when his father's finger rocked the rugby league world. He still remembers the spate of madness that would forever stain his family name.

    "'Around the year 2000 I knew about the finger," William said. "I was pretty young but I knew what was going on. All the media and people were laughing but I didn't cop it too bad. All my friends new Dad and really respected him."

    William is adamant he will not repeat the notorious acts of his father, who was one of the most feared wingers during the '90s.

    "He is always telling me what not to do," William said.

    "And I guess with his past he can judge that pretty well. He is pretty strict and I have to be pretty straight. I won't be heading off track."

    Williams is being pursued by a number of NRL clubs including the Roosters, where his uncle Albert Hopoate plays.

    "He still has a long way to go until the NRL," Hopoate said.

    "But there are a few clubs offering real good money for a kid his age. It is unbelievable money. It is a business these days and my time has finished.

    "I would have loved him to play for Manly but in saying that it is business. I am going to look after his interests."

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