News Release

“Stormin’ Mormon Hoppa Delivers Try Miracle”

Latter-day Saint William Hopoate Scores Match-turning Try in Origin II game.

Nineteen year old centre, William Hopoate, scored a long-to-be remembered try that brought the New South Wales Blues from behind and helped them defeat Queensland 18-8. A crowd of nearly 92,000 in Sydney saw the Origin novice rise up with his team against the defending champions. A member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Will is the second youngest man to play in the gruelling matches.

The win evened the score of the series and allows a third contest in the famous State of Origin Rugby League competition. "It was pretty exciting," said Will, who got the invitation to play in Origin II during Sunday School ten days before the game. "I got a low pass, and I was able to put it down." He will leave the field for two years at the end of this season to "put down" a mission.

Brought on board by the Blues coach after their loss in Origin I, William was the controversial and unproven "teenager" banked on to do a man's job, and he did it beautifully.For news coverage of Will's try, click on the following links:

Daily Telegraph

Courier Mail

Queensland Rugby League Star Praises Will Hopoate's Decision to Serve Mission

Ben Hannant, a highly paid Queensland rugby league star who is also a member of the Church, praises William Hopoate for leaving high-priced bids on the table to head off on a mission. "I think it's fantastic," says Ben. "If he approaches his mission like he approaches his footy, he'll do a great job, and be blessed for doing it."

While many onlookers express dismay at Will's decision and say he will not be able to pick up where he leaves off in the NRL, Hannant disagrees. His comment to the naysayers is, "When Will comes back, he'll be more mentally tough and an even better footy player than he is now."

Ben Hannant's full comments in The Sydney Morning Herald can be found by clicking this link:

Sydney Morning Herald

Will Hopoate Chooses to Serve Mission

Will Hopoate has put aside lucrative offers from the Sea Eagles and half a dozen rival clubs to follow his faith. Hopoate, a budding Rugby League star, announced that he will be going on a church mission rather than immediately moving into a football career. Will is a member of the Harbord Ward, of the Sydney Australia Harbour Stake of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He is the son of the former Rugby League star and present day boxer, John Hopoate.

"A mission for a young Mormon man is one of the most important and special experiences of his life," said Gabriel Miller, Bishop of Will's local congregation. "This is an opportunity for him to give service, grow, and develop skills and talents."

Read more of Bishop Miller's comments in The Sydney Morning Herald's article "Don't Mess with the Missionary Man" by clicking here:

William considers it a privilege to share the Gospel with those who do not have a relationship with Jesus Christ. He could be assigned to serve anywhere from Samoa to Siberia.

Follow up on this article at these sites:

Sydney Morning Herald

The Australian


Style Guide Note:When reporting about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, please use the complete name of the Church in the first reference. For more information on the use of the name of the Church, go to our online Style Guide.