Will Hopoate out as Dogs to play Sunday

Will Hopoate is an unlikely starter for Canterbury’s NRL elimination final against Penrith after the match was scheduled for next Sunday.

Brisbane will host Gold Coast in the first elimination final at Suncorp Stadium on Friday night.

Canberra will host Cronulla in the second qualifying final on Saturday evening, followed by Melbourne and North Queensland at AAMI Park.

The Dogs and the Panthers will round out the first week of the finals at either ANZ Stadium or Allianz Stadium, the venue is yet to be confirmed by the NRL.

Hopoate has so far declined to play on Sundays this season due to his religious beliefs.

Dogs coach Des Hasler faces an outside back crisis with Sam Perrett not due back from a neck injury until week two of the finals, if Canterbury progress.

Canterbury will welcome back Sam Kasiano from suspension.

Raiders playmaker Blake Austin isn’t expected to be available due to a hand injury.

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