ALL the News about
Mormons, Mormonism
and the LDS Church
Mormon News: All the News about Mormons, Mormonism and the LDS Church
Posted 24 Feb 2001   For week ended April 16, 2000
Most Recent Week
Front Page
Local News
Arts & Entertainment
·New Products
·New Websites
·Mormon Stock Index
Letters to Editor
Continuing Coverage of:
Boston Temple
School Prayer
Julie on MTV
Robert Elmer Kleasen
About Mormon News
News by E-Mail
Weekly Summary
Submitting News
Submitting Press Releases
Volunteer Positions
Bad Link?

News about Mormons, Mormonism,
and the LDS Church
Sent on Mormon-News: 14Apr00

Summarized by Kent Larsen

LDS Rugby Player Reforms, Gains Teammates' Respect
Sydney Australia Morning-Herald 13Apr00 S2
By Roy Masters

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA -- Just one year ago, LDS professional rugby player John Hopoate had a reputation for trash-talking and nightclubbing. But now he has reformed, rejoined the LDS Church and gained the respect of his teammates. And the team may be seeing a side benefit of his lifestyle change; the team is second in the standings, winning six games and tieing two.

Hopoate plays for the Wests Tigers, moving to the team from Manly, where he had developed his wild reputation. Hopoate blames his prior behavior on his 'self-belief in his own superiority,' which he attributes to his Tongan ancestry. And he says that the problem is still with him, "I've still got arrogance in me," he says. "I've got that island blood that makes me aggressive. "But I don't lose my temper like I used to. I have learnt to control myself on the field."

Hopoate's transformation didn't happen just because of the change from Manly to Wests. Hopoate says, "When Manly suspended me [for eight weeks], alcohol was my main problem." He was suspended following a drunken brawl at a bar and for missing practice. "Part of my suspension was I was not to touch alcohol. I thought that if I have to give alcohol away, I might as well turn my whole life around."

So Hopoate decided that if he had to give up alcohol, he might as well fix the rest of his lifestyle, "Things were not going well in many aspects of my life, so I rejoined the Mormon church, and now I don't touch alcohol, I don't touch tobacco and I live my life according to the standards of my church. I've got my whole life in order. I've always been a Mormon, but I went off the track for a while. I go to the Mormon church at Harbord every Sunday."

Hopoate also managed to improve his ties with his children, three boys and a girl. He says that getting these ties was part of his motivation for turning his life around, "They were a big part, too," he said. "I was going out all the time, not spending time at home. I realised I had to secure the future of myself and my family."

Hopoate is now credits God for his improvement, "I am grateful to God for turning my life around. I pray every day for the many blessings he's given unto me."


[an error occurred while processing this directive]

Copyright 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 Kent Larsen · Privacy Information