“It’s important that we have patience” – St Helens boss provides latest on injured star

Josh McAllister
Will Hopoate St Helens SWpix

Photo: Alex Whitehead/SWpix

St Helens head coach Paul Wellens has provided the latest on outside-back Will Hopoate, confirming that the 30-year-old will miss Friday’s fixture with Hull.

The Tonga international has struggled with injuries throughout his Super League career since making the move ahead of 2022.

He was limited to just 12 appearances last season due to an ongoing hamstring issue.

Hopoate featured in the club’s World Club Challenge victory over Penrith on the wing, but has not taken to the field since.

The former NRL man continues to rehab his hamstring, with the club taking extra precautions before putting him back on the field.

“We were very hopeful for Will and this will probably frustrate a lot of our supporters, but Will is going to be another week,” Wellens said.

“At a push, Will Hopoate could play this weekend. He could run out and feel confident to play. 

“If it was a player who hadn’t been through Will’s recent injury history, then we’d probably be more likely to take a chance this weekend and play him.

“But what we are conscience of is that Will gets the adequate training exposure next week so he can confidently take part in the game.

“He has had a fair bit of training exposure, but given Will’s injury history, it’s important that he gets that little bit more in.

“It’s frustrating for me as a coach and for him as a player because I’d love him to be out there and he’d love to be playing.

“But it’s important that we have patience there because we want the best out of Will Hopoate moving forward.”

Will Hopoate and his road to recovery

Hopoate had been working with St Helens’ head physio during the off-season to work on the reoccurring injury. He previously admitted to Love Rugby League that time is the ultimate healer, with Wellens agreeing.

“They’ve gone through a different procedure,” Wellens said on Hopoate’s recovery.

“There’s a lot of scar tissues around the injury that has caused Will a bit of discomfort and he’s had a few injections in that to help get rid of the scar tissues which he’s has had a really positive response from.

“That has been able to put him in a position for him to train a lot more and he’s feeling a lot more comfortable than he’s ever done.

“But that’s why we felt it was important not to jump too early now, give him that extra week and get him back playing fit, regularly and playing consistently well.”

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