Hopoate dispute headed to court

Hopoate dispute headed to court

John Hopoate is expected to step up his fight to revive his rugby league coaching career and launch court action against the NRL.

Hopoate is at the centre of a standoff between Manly and the NRL after he was ordered to stand down as coach of the Sea Eagles’ under-18s side due to concerns about his character.

The former NSW and Australian winger was restricted to being an interested onlooker when the Manly SG Ball side suffered a 34-10 loss to Canberra at Brookvale Oval on Saturday afternoon.

The club and the NSWRL are standing behind Hopoate, who has accused the NRL and integrity unit head Nick Weeks of orchestrating a witch-hunt against him.

The NRL threatened Manly with the loss of NRL competition points and fines if Hopoate continued in the role after receiving advice from the NSW Police organised crime unit that he was not fit to mentor young players.

However Hopoate has hit back, urging the NRL to present evidence of wrongdoing.

Hopoate’s barrister Julienne Levick has said she plans to file action in the Supreme Court on Monday to an effort to receive an injunction to clear the path for Hopoate’s return.

Manly is claiming that because the SG Ball competition is operated by the NSWRL, the NRL has no jurisdiction in making rulings on any appointment.

However, the NRL says all club officials must be registered with the governing body.

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