ALL the News about
Mormons, Mormonism
and the LDS Church
Mormon News: All the News about Mormons, Mormonism and the LDS Church
Posted 09 Apr 2002   For week ended January 25, 2002
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: 23Jan02
By Kent Larsen
Download to My Handheld!

Mormon Rugby Player Back in Australian National Rugby League

MANLY, NEW SOUTH WALES, AUSTRALIA -- Nearly a year after he was banned for on-field indiscretions, Australian Rugby player and LDS Church member John Hopoate is preparing for a new season with Australia's National Rugby League starting February 16th. Chastened for his antics last year, Hopoate has promised not to repeat the incidents that won him international infamy and led to a 12-week ban covering the end of last season and costing him a winger position on Wests Tigers.

Even by last year, Hopoate had come a long way from the drunken, carousing player he once was. He has now gone three years without a drink, is faithful to his family, and reportedly attends his LDS ward in Manly regularly. But the past year represents both a backwards move in his reformation, and a new reformation from on-field 'bad-boy' conduct.

Hopoate's reformation was well under way last year when it took a sudden and very public regression. After complaints from opposing players, game films confirmed that Hopoate regularly upset and annoyed opponents during games by poking his fingers, through their clothes, up their backsides. The revelation of his conduct led to a public scandal and infamy across Australia and New Zealand. The 27-year-old Hopoate was quickly suspended from the National Rugby League for 12 weeks, and his team, the Wests Tigers, which had taken him in after his reformation, forced him to resign.

In the middle of the furor, a New Zealand cancer charity sought to take advantage of the incident, and printed in a newspaper advertisement a picture of Hopoate performing his indiscretion during a game. Below the picture, the ad read, "A bloke's chances of developing prostate cancer increase as he gets older. If you have symptoms that you're concerned about, consult your local doctor. It won't hurt a bit -- promise." But both Hopoate and the National Rugby League said the ad was in "bad taste" and threatened to sue for unauthorized use of Hopoate's image.

For a time the incident seemed like it might end his career, but several weeks later Hopoate received an offer to play in England for one of its Super League teams. But Hopoate decided to stay in Australia with his family, and signed with the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles, a lower division team that feeds into the Northern Eagles where he will start the 2002 season. Hopoate had played for Manly when his drinking and nightclubbing was out-of-control, before he reformed and joined the Wests Tigers in 1999.

In the off season, Hopoate has again sought to reform himself and rebuild his reputation. He now promises that last year's tactics won't be repeated, "I just have to stop those stupid little antics I used to do," he said. And Eagles Coach Peter Sharp has told him that as one of the more experienced players on the team, Hopoate will be expected to set an example. And Hopoate, who will become a father for the sixth time before the season begins, says he is up to the responsibility, "I've got a bit of a point to prove, I just want to get on with it and show people I still have something to offer," he added.


Hoppa's sixth sense (Daily Telegraph) 18Jan02 S2
By Jon Geddes: Daily Telegraph

Hopoate to start afresh
BBC 18Jan02 S2

Bad boy Hopoate returns
BBC 20Jun01 S2

Super League beckons for Hopoate
BBC 11May01 S2

Disgraced player in sue threat
BBC 4Apr01 S2

See also:

LDS Rugby Player's Shocking Conduct May End Career
Mormon News 6Apr01 S2
By Kent Larsen

LDS Rugby Player Reforms, Gains Teammates' Respect
Mormon News 14Apr01 S2
By Kent Larsen


[an error occurred while processing this directive]

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