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Will Hopoate says father John a changed man and should be cleared for coaching


Well-Known Member
Staff member
Oct 25, 2004
Bulldogs ace Will Hopoate has launched an impassioned plea for his father John to be cleared for a return to coaching, saying "he's learnt from his mistakes", as the one-time rugby league bad boy's showdown with the NRL heads for the Supreme Court.

The Canterbury recruit's strict religious beliefs and cleanskin image have always been at odds with the trouble his father courted during a controversial playing career, which has now extended off the field.

Sidelined: John Hopoate has been stood down from coaching Manly's SG Ball team. Photo: James Brickwood

The NRL has deemed John Hopoate as "not a fit and proper character" to coach Manly's SG Ball team after a senior NSW police officer wrote to NRL integrity unit head Nick Weeks, warning that John had links to criminal figures.

The former Sea Eagle and Tiger has denied the claim, and has taken legal action, saying the NRL has no jurisdiction to stop him from coaching in an NSWRL-run competition.

And Will, who appears to have settled in quickly at Belmore under former mentor Des Hasler, says the NRL's most suspended player still has an affection for rugby league and the respect of the teenagers he coaches.

"I've seen [the respect from kids he coaches] and comments from the parents as well," the Bulldogs fullback said. "A lot of the kids he's coached ... I know them as well. They've had no problem with him being a coach.

"He said it himself – if there's a person or coach to teach younger players what not to do, he's the right man. He's learnt from his mistakes and he's paid the price for them, and I don't see why he shouldn't be deemed fit to have a coaching gig.

"The game still has a big part in his heart and he still wants to be a part of it, and I think coaching is the way he expresses that."

John Hopoate's case is listed to be mentioned in the Supreme Court next Tuesday, meaning both father and son are fighting legal battles on separate fronts as Will tries to settle a contract dispute with Parramatta.

But it is the plight of his father that has attracted greater interest after ARL Commission chairman John Grant rejected an application for John Hopoate to resume clipboard duties with Manly until the matter was heard in the Supreme Court.

"I always will support my dad. I think he's paid the penalties for his mistakes in the past – we all make mistakes – and hopefully it works out for him and he will get the coaching gig," Will Hopoate said.

"I know he's been coaching for a long time in local footy and coaching my brothers, myself at times and if he pursues that career I'll definitely support him all the way. He's a big reason for why I am here today playing first grade footy."

Despite a couple of turbulent years at Parramatta after his Mormon mission ended, the 23-year-old showed glimpses of his best in the Bulldogs' demolition of another of his former clubs, Manly, during last week's opening round.

The five-time State of Origin representative was slated to spend the year in the centres, but has quickly adapted to the No.1 jersey in the absence of long-term casualty ward member Brett Morris, who is likely to vacate his Blues jumper for the start of the series.

"Thankfully I trained quite a bit there last pre-season and it wasn't too much of an adjustment ... it was more about learning the structures and the calls here at the club," said Hopoate, who will line up for his second match in blue and white against Penrith on Thursday.

"The boys helped me out a lot as well. It was challenging, but it wasn't going into a whole new world.

"To be honest, my goal right now is to play good footy for Canterbury and if representative honours come along the way I will be very grateful and humbled, and try to grasp it with both hands. It's out of my control [now] and all I can do is play my best for Canterbury."

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/rugby-league/...r-coaching-20160308-gnd7c3.html#ixzz42MH7MtDL
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Bones Knows
Super Coach Member
Jun 24, 2010
Who else but your own son could give an unbiased reference for you, without any agenda?
That settles it now. Hoppa should coach.


Sea Eagle Lach
Staff member
Premium Member
Mar 8, 2009
He should try to get a character reference from Jamil.


Well-Known Member
Premium Member
Jun 21, 2011
8 Mar 2016 Manly Daily Jon Gedde

Controversial star has a ‘charity run’ and gets right into the action

HE MAY be banned from coaching his Sea Eagles SG Ball team but that did not stop rugby league hard man John Hopoate from playing a game to support the charity that helped his family through a very traumatic period.

John Hopoate was the centre of attention.
The former Sea Eagle laced up his boots on Saturday for the Avalon Bulldogs when they beat the Newport Breakers 14-12 in a hybrid game at Rat Park that supported the Starlight Foundation. Hopoate revealed his ties with Starlight went back to when his son John Jnr was sick as a baby.
“He went to Westmead and was in intensive care for two weeks a couple of weeks after he was born,” he said.
“Starlight helped with everything. I have done a few things for them and am always happy to put up my hand for the foundation.”
John Jnr made a full recovery and is a key player in the Sea Eagles SG Ball side.
Hopoate was right in his element in what was a willing encounter between the rugby and league teams.
Soon after he took the field he got the attention of a Breakers forward who ran a metre to push the former NRL star over.
Hopoate made a couple of his trademark charges with the ball and also spent 10 minutes in the sin bin.
“I really enjoyed it – it was just good to go back and run around with the guys who play local footy,” he said.
“Some of the hits were really big from both sides and it was good to let off some steam.”
Hopoate was the centre of attention and every time he got the ball the crowd erupted. “I’m used to that – it is either booing or cheering,” he said. “I think there was more booing but they should be on my side, I haven’t played for 11 years.”
Hopoate’s bid to be reinstated as SG Ball coach heads to the Supreme Court this week.


Parra Trolls are the best.
Dec 11, 2010
Martin Bryant could be used to teach wayward kids from going on shooting rampages.

Terry Zarsoff

Well-Known Member
Jun 19, 2013
The operative phrase was "I'll definitely support my dad all the way." Yes Will, you will be (financially) supporting your neanderthal dad all the way to the grave, if the last four years or so is anything to go by.


Well-Known Member
Jul 16, 2004
If his son wants to back him so much to be a representative of Manly, why doesn't he sponsor the bloke for The Eels or Dogs?

Let him coach one of their teams.


Well-Known Member
Jul 18, 2004
Yep, Will "I want to stay at Manly" Hopoate is a credible character witness...... Turd!


Well-Known Member
Nov 8, 2010
He is back as coach

John Hopoate is free to coach Manly’s SG Ball side after he agreed to withdraw court proceedings against the NRL.

Hopoate took to Facebook on Thursday night to declare the NRL would allow him to coach the Sea Eagles’ under-18 side after conceding it had no legal right to ban him.

The SG Ball competition comes under the NSWRL’s jurisdiction, not the NRL’s. The former league bad boy says he bears no hard feelings toward the governing body despite a tense stand-off that appeared headed to the Supreme Court.

“I'm Back, NRL asked if we can withdraw our court proceedings cause they don't have jurisdiction over SG Ball. So I can coach this week cheehoo!!” Hopoate wrote.

He followed with the following hashtags:‪#‎NoHardFeelingsTimeToMoveOnAndLetThePadtBeThePast


Well-Known Member
May 28, 2010
John Hopoate v NRL dispute takes another twist as legal battle gets confusing
March 10, 2016 10:22pm
Zac Bailey and Ben GloverFOX SPORTS

John Hopoate is still in limbo in his coaching career.

JOHN Hopoate’s battle to coach Manly’s SG Ball side has taken another twist after the former Sea Eagles premiership winner declared he had been given the all clear by the NRL to continue in the role.

Hopoate and the NRL had looked headed to the courts to settle a dispute over whether or not the controversial former winger should be allowed to coach the under 18s side.

On Friday night, Hopoate declared himself “back” with an emphatic Facebook post that completely blindsided the NRL who hit back with a tweet denying it.

“I’m Back, NRL asked if we can withdraw our court proceedings cause they don’t have jurisdiction over SG Ball. So I can coach this week cheeho!!” Hopoate posted.

Following up with the hashtag: “#NoHardFeelingsTimeToMoveOnAndLetThePastBeThePast#”

Foxsports.com.au followed up with Hopoate and he stood by the post, confirming that the NRL had asked him to end the court battle.

But the NRL quickly denied it had cleared Hopoate to coach, tweeting from its NRL Media account: “The NRL has NOT cleared John Hopoate to coach Manly’s SG Ball side.”

The NRL then sent foxsports.com.au the following statement: “He is not registered to coach. Mr Hopoate has taken the matter to the Supreme Court. The NRL is contesting his case and has not changed its stance at all.”

A legal challenge was mounted by Hopoate when the NRL claimed the former international is not of fit and proper character to mentor young and impressionable men, threatening the Sea Eagles with a breach notice if they didn’t stand Hopoate down.

In his affidavit, Hopoate said: “Out of respect for the club, I have voluntarily stood down from coaching SG Ball as the Manly Sea Eagles have been threatened with a breach notice attracting enormous fines and threatening loss of points to the club.”

Hopoate and his legal team maintain the NRL has no jurisdiction over the SG Ball competition as it is run by the NSWRL, which has approved Hopoate’s application to coach.

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