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Kristian Woolf gives update on St Helens star Will Hopoate as he reveals amazing statistic about versatile back

This time last year, Kristian Woolf along with plenty of St Helens fans eagerly anticipated the arrival of Will Hopoate.

A Grand Final with Manly back in 2011, Hopoate was set to be Kevin Naiqama’s replacement at the right centre with the Champions tasked with replacing the then reigning Harry Sunderland Award winner.

The excitement was so much around Hopoate that there was very little excitement around the arrival of Konrad Hurrell at the Totally Wicked Stadium.

However, it has been Hurrell who has played right centre for most of the season as Saints won a fourth consecutive Grand Final.

Part of this has been down to the need to have Hopoate fill in on the wing or at fullback as he did in the Grand Final, but Hopoate has also been hit with injuries all season long resulting in many questions being posed to Woolf over Hopoate’s fitness.

Now both are with Tonga for the World Cup, but the question keeps coming with Hopoate not fit for last night’s World Cup opener against Papua New Guinea.

Tonga coach Woolf gave an update on Hopoate’s fitness as he revealed an incredible statistic about Hopoate’s role for St Helens in 2022: “He won’t play next week but he has a real chance against Cook Islands. I know what class he’s got and at Saints this year you’ve got to remember that we never lost a game when he played so I think that speaks volumes of his class and his influence on a team.

“If he is ready to play against Cook Island, he will if not it will be the quarter-finals.”

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