Will Hopoate has called on the NRL to allow his father John to resume his coaching career, less than a week before the case heads to the NSW Supreme Court.
The NSW Origin representative believes his father’s coaching is the reason he has made it in the NRL, and says it is time the game let him move on from his controversial past.
Hopoate’s eldest son also believes his father, who is the most suspended player in the history of the NRL, is the best man to teach young players what not to do.
“I’ve seen [the respect from kids he coaches] and comments from the parents as well,” Will told Fairfax Media.
“A lot of the kids he’s coached … I know them as well. They’ve had no problem with him being a coach.
“He’s a big reason for why I am here today playing first grade footy.”
Hopoate Snr. is still unable to take Manly’s under-18s SG Ball side after the NRL deemed him unfit on the advice of a senior NSW police officer who warned he had links to criminal figures.
The 42-year-old has constantly denied that, and the case is listed for the Supreme Court next Tuesday as John tries to prove the NRL has no jurisdiction over a NSW Rugby League run competition.