John Hopoate is considering dropping legal action against the NRL, with the controversial rugby league figure reportedly seeking a provisional trial to coach Manly’s under-18s side.
Hopoate is desperate to prove he is a `fit and proper’ candidate to coach the Sea Eagles’ SG Ball side, the NRL to date refusing to register a contract for him to do so.
According to Fairfax Media, the former NSW and Australian winger has called upon character references from rugby league immortal Bob Fulton and Tonga’s national coach Kristian Woolf, who he is set to act as an assistant to in a Test match against Samoa next month.
He also has a petition signed by a number of past and present junior players he has coached over the past 21 years.
Hopoate launched action against the NRL in the NSW Supreme Court when they said they had information from NSW police which told them he was not a suitable person to coach impressionable youngsters.
Suspended for a record 45 weeks throughout his 13-year career – Hopoate argued it was the jurisdiction of the NSW Rugby League, not the NRL, to determine who could coach in the competition.