Jamil Hopoate says going to jail saved his life and resurrected his rugby league career Jon Geddes, Manly Daily July 8, 2016 12:00am A chastened Jamil Hopoate has admitted the tough realities he faced during a stint in jail turned his life around and has helped him a make an amazing return to the Sea Eagles. The rising star served nine months of an 18-month sentence after pleading guilty to two counts of assault occasioning actual bodily harm in company in Manly in 2014. The sentence led to him sacked by the Sea Eagles and his promising rugby league career was in tatters. But last week Hopoate was registered again by Manly after being the standout performer for the Narraweena Hawks in the local A grade competition and he made an impressive debut off the bench for the Sea Eagles NSW Cup side against Wyong last Saturday at Brookvale Oval. “It’s good to pull to pull the Manly colours back on and start playing that level of footy again,” he said. And a candid Hopoate- the son of Sea Eagles legend Johh Hopoate- said he was now a very different person after his experience behind bars. “I was leading the party life before I got locked up so it has definitely slowed me down,” he said. “I had a lot of time to think so I knew that wasn’t the life I wanted and partying the way I was was a waste of time and a waste of my life. “I’m a lot more mature than I was and my drive to pursue my footy dream is a lot stronger as well since I’ve been out. “When you get locked up everything is taken away from you and I took everything for granted. “I had to learn the hard way, but the hard way was what made me listen. “I was told my whole life to pull my head in but it took going to jail to finally wake up to myself, in a way it’s good.” Click here to continue reading the rest of the article.