Will Hopoate Has Gone To The Dogs, Officially Signs With Canterbury

Canterbury-Bankstown‘s off-season is already off to a cracking start, with the Bulldogs today announcing the signing of Parramatta Eels backman Will Hopoate.

The announcement today ends Hopoate’s messy relationship with the Eels, with the player and club at loggerheads over his worth for some time now.
Though Hopoate still had a year remaining on his contract with Parramatta, the Eels were more than happy to let the handy utility walk in order to both end the ugly standoff, and to free up some vital space in their salary cap.
Meanwhile the Bulldogs are delighted with their new signing – Hopoate put pen to paper on a two year deal with the club – who will slot directly into their backline to fill the space vacated by the departing Tim Lafai, who was granted a release from his contract by the Bulldogs. Lafai has already had interest from other clubs, including Gold Coast, Penrith, St George, and New Zealand.
Hopoate began his NRL career with Manly-Warringah, and was part of the Sea Eagles‘ 2011 premiership side. Hopoate then signed a contract with the Eels in 2011 that did not commence until the 2014 season, allowing Hopoate adequate time to complete his two-year Mormon mission.
Hopoate has also represented New South Wales in the State of Origin on five occasions.
Speaking to their new recruit for the first time, Hopoate told the Bulldogs website that the chance to reunite with coach Des Hasler – who mentored Hopoate during their time at Manly together – played a big role in his decision to sign with the club.

“He knows how to coach.”

“He has a very good footy mind and mentality. I’m going to be a sponge and soak as much up as I can.”

The Bulldogs open their 2016 campaign on the evening of March the 4th, taking on Manly under lights at Brookvale Oval.

Photo: Renee McKay/Getty Images.
Source: SMH & Bulldogs.com.au.