Will Hopoate

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Will Hopoate, Mormon Aussie rugby star

William Hopoate is an Aussie rugby star and a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Mormon Church. In summer of 2011, Hopoate stunned his fans and associates with the news that he would interrupt his career to serve a full-time mission for the LDS Church. [1] He was set to report for his mission the day after the NRL grand final.

Hopoate is a 19-year-old Blues center, and not even the lure of a NSW Origin jersey could tempt him to change his mind.

"Manly under-20s coach David Penna, who has coached Will since 2008, also believes he can still have a successful career when he returns. 'People might think it is a big step up for him in State of Origin but I think he will surprise a lot of people,' Penna said."

Hopoate was born 9 May 1992. He primarily plays at fullback but also plays on the wing. His father was also a champion rugby player. Will is currently contracted to the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles. By interrupting his career to serve a Mormon mission, he follows in the footsteps of fellow league player Lagi Setu (Wikipedia).


Hopoate returned from his mission in November 2013. He credits his missionary experience in helping him be "mentally stronger in dealing with adversity."[2] He joined the Parramatta Eels in 2014 and is reported to be earning around 800,000 AUD per season.