Lehi Hopoate

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Journey Man
He’s not your typical big bopping hoppa, he’s skinny and smooth in his play. He’s more a ridge type of player, not an eadie, turbo or Stewart.

Really interesting set of skills, unhurried. He will only get bigger and better.


Reserve Grader
Back him in and start him at fullback after the bye vs Penrith. Koula back in the centres with Garrick to the wing for Vaega (and I love RayRay, perfect first man up depth option). Keep Talau in the centres where he is killing it and Garrick can finally go back to where he belongs.

We can't afford to have another of our talented juniors leave because they aren't given enough opportunity. Groom him as our next fullback and play him there on the frequent occurrence that Turbo is out. Tom is probably one more serious injury away from medical retirement anyway - I can see a world where Hoppa slots straight into fullback and we have an extra million to spend on a big name forward or hooker. Of course not wishing this on Turbo and hope he can get back to his best, but I'm not convinced based on what we saw from him in the first 10 weeks


Grizzly old fart
If you watch any manly games during the 95/97 run and even his last run you see how impressive Hoppa snr was - lots of grub in his game but man his meters etc

The old man, John, despite the errors in his game, was a top performer. Fast, aggressive, took the line on with gusto. Loved watching John in his prime. None of his kids have hit that level yet. Hopefully this one will.


Reserve Grader
I'm thinking right outside the box here but what about Tom coming on as an X Factor off the bench. If we only play him for 30 minutes max each match then his body will hold up better and for longer. Maybe 2 × 15 minute stints at the end of each half.
Garrick played like a wing last night..I noticed he spent lots of time out there.. surely THE coaching staff can see this.. he's best when he just runs and doesn't even think pass.. he is a finishing winger
Yep I didn't think Garrick had any "selfish" plays but he definitely didn't create anything for Saab.


Armchair Expert
I don't think Hoppa has to shop him around, his performance last night will have clubs wanting to know what his contract status is already, it's up to management to lock him up..

I believe he's signed here until the end of 2026.

Not that it will prevent him asking for a release if he isn't playing first grade regularly though.


Reserve Grader
I don't think Hoppa has to shop him around, his performance last night will have clubs wanting to know what his contract status is already, it's up to management to lock him up..
You're factually correct but just think of how comical it would be watching Hoppa deeply involved with sports contracts and management. It's got the makings of a hit sitcom, I'd watch it.

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