Hopoate on sideline at Manly junior match

Controversial rugby league figure John Hopoate has watched Manly’s under-18s clash with Canberra at Brookvale Oval on Saturday not with the coaching staff but in a box next door.

The Sea Eagles are at loggerheads with the NRL over whether the most suspended player in the history of the game should be allowed to coach the club’s SG Ball side.

Hopoate stood down from the role earlier in the week but has vowed to fight the NRL’s ban through the courts.

The former Sea Eagles, NSW and Australian winger didn’t sit with Manly’s coaches for the round-three clash but watched on in an adjacent box.

Darren Maroon took over from Hopoate as coach.

The NRL rejected an offer to enter into mediation and Hopoate’s legal team have stated their intention to launch action in the Supreme Court on Monday.

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