Lehi Hopoate

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Dion Johnson

Premium Member
Tipping Member
Bit of an overview on where he is with his progress,

EXCLUSIVE: Hype builds over exciting Manly teenager as Hopoate empire grows​

Yet another Hopoate is being tipped for a bright NRLfuture as exciting Manly teenager Lehi continues to turn heads.

Lehi, 19, is the eighth of 11 children to John and Brenda Hopoate and is line to become the fifth of the offspring to play NRL or NRLW - joining Will, Jamil, Albert and Kalosipani.

Father John, 50, played 209 NRL games and represented NSW, Australia and Tonga during a colourful career.

I'm sure his stud fee would be high, big Hoppa," Manly prop Matt Lodge told Wide World of Sports.

"Lehi is a special player, an exciting talent who has definitely got a bright future. He forced his way over to Vegas and jumped a few people there - I'm sure it won't be long until people see him out there in first grade."

Lehi has been named to play in the centres for the Sea Eagles' NSW Cup team against Parramatta on Sunday but fullback is viewed as his best long term position

He's got a lot of time on his side," Lodge said.

"We'll all look after him and help him get to where the team needs him. He went really well all preseason and he's a very fast kid.

"Growing up in that family, he's a natural footy player who makes things look easy. And most importantly he's a really nice, good kid."

John told WWOS that calmness was Lehi's best attribute.

"He's also got good defence and what better person than Tommy Turbo (Trbojevic) telling him what to do?" Hopoate said.

"He's also got Brett Stewart, the backs coach at Manly, so two of the greatest fullbacks to ever play for Manly teaching him. He's getting a lot from them

Manly last year re-signed Lehi on a three year contract with coach Anthony Seibold saying "we want to build him up physically and help with his game awareness" before playing NRL.

But after mixing with the big boys during preseason trials, it appears a first grade debut could come this season.

"They took him to to Vegas for experience, which was good for him, the baby," John said.

He's progressing a lot faster than what everyone thought he would, so hopefully he'll get a chance this year."

After much deliberation, John said Lehi probably ranked second among his children in terms of raw talent.

"Lehi is right up there and is a gun basketball player as well. But if I was to pick the best all around kid, I'd have to say Jamil, who's locked up at the moment (for cocaine supply).

The drama was he followed the wrong path sometimes. But yeah, four kids have already played at the highest level.

"Someone told me that is the most in rugby league history. I've done a lot of coaching with them myself so I'm very proud, very happy.

"We're real close as a family. My older kids saw me training and playing and the younger ones just wanted to follow."


Reserve Grader
Has anyone got any idea, how many more of the Hopoate's are expected to come through the Manly system in the next 5 to 10 years?


I thought the Hoppa Snr said he was done with the club when Albert left.

Do I have a bad memory or was it just another day in the life of John Hopoate?


Journey Man
The Mortimers had 4 play brothers play first grade: Steve, Chris and Peter at Canterbury and Glen briefly at Cronulla.

Can someone convey this information to Hoppa?


Won't be long before he tries to get out of his contract because he's not been played ahead of Turbo. I like Lehi.. but just like the rest of the clan.. poorly advised. None of them did anything of note leaving Manly.


Journey Man
Tipping Member
Let the boy develop, if he has talent he will get his chance.

I do not have a lot of faith in the name Hopoate as their loyalty is always driven by the almighty dollar!
I regards to the almighty dollar
Money does matter and does make a difference in the high cost of living
If Lehi is given a lucrative long term deal would he stay at the club ? The answer would have to be yes .


Premium Member
Tipping Member
Has anyone got any idea, how many more of the Hopoate's are expected to come through the Manly system in the next 5 to 10 years?
No idea, but for what it's worth I read that out of the 11 children, 7 either had/have NRL credentials - male & female.

For interest sakes, when we played the trial game vs Broncos at Brookie, Sione Hopoate played for the Broncos and it looked like the whole family (minus Jamil & Albert) were there to watch him, incl. Will. Sione plays for the Broncos in the Qld Cup and hasn't made his debut in the NRL yet.

The Indian

Gotta give the kid a chance cause he's his own person but share the sentiments that it won't be long before Hoppa senior starts agitating for an upgrade and moves on. John probably fed the story to the media just to kickstart negotiations with other clubs behind the scenes, so I won't invest too much in this just yet.

Side issue - does seem Matt Lodge does seem to have turned a corner and become a decent member of the team. yes he's got a lot of catching up to do....but anyway just an observation.

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