Hopoate set to sign Bulldogs NRL deal

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Hopoate set to sign Bulldogs NRL deal

Canterbury are expected to unveil NSW State of Origin back Will Hopoate in coming days.

Hopoate is believed to be on his way to Belmore for the 2016 NRL season, a move which would reunite him with Dogs coach Des Hasler.

Hopoate is locked in a legal dispute with Parramatta which is delaying his formal signing with Canterbury.

The 23-year-old has taken the Eels to the Supreme Court because they refused to honour a NRL playing contract which was signed by Hopoate but not lodged with the league.

The club’s defence has claimed that because it was not registered with the NRL, it did not constitute a binding legal agreement.

Until the Eels and Hopoate can resolve their legal dispute, Hopoate is in limbo and cannot sign with a new club.

The six-time Blues representative has been training on his own in the off-season and his management has said he is confident of being fit for 2016.

Hopoate’s arrival at Belmore is also expected to result in the departure of centre Tim Lafai, who has been linked with a move to Gold Coast.

Hopoate made his debut for Manly under Hasler in 2010, winning the premiership with the Sea Eagles the year after.

He then departed the NRL on a two-year Mormon mission before returning to rugby league in 2014 with the Eels.

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