Eels confirm Hopoate signing

Parramatta have belatedly confirmed the signing of premiership-winning Manly winger Will Hopoate.

Hopoate, 19, won’t join the Eels until November 2013 however as he is about to undertake a two-year religious mission with the Mormon Church in Queensland.

The son of former Manly great John Hopoate is the latest high-profile signing from Eels coach Stephen Kearney and will be on a reputed $850,000 a season.

Recruits joining for next season meanwhile are Chris Sandow, Willie and Esi Tonga, Ben Roberts and Taulima Toutai.

“A player of Will’s calibre coming to the club is a tremendous endorsement of where we’re heading,” Eels chief executive officer Paul Osborne said today.

“He’s an unbelievable talent and at just 19, he will join us as a 21 year old ready to enter the prime of his career.

“We’ve got no doubt Will has the ability to return from his mission and become one of the game’s premier players.
 
“The fact he’s committed to us this far ahead of time shows the confidence he has in what we’re building here.”

Osborne praised Kearney’s vision for the club, adding: “We’ve got a coach that players want to play for and a playing group that is passionate about the Eels jersey – there’s certainly exciting times ahead.”

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