Last year Will Hopoate helped St Helens to Grand Final glory against Leeds Rhinos as he enjoyed an insane record of winning every game he was involved in.
The Tongan international was clearly a special talent and one we were lucky to have in Super League.
But his time in the league could have ended with St Helens confirming his departure.
St Helens made the following tribute:
“Hoppa has been a huge part of the Saints squad over the past two seasons after joining from NRL side Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs ahead of the 2022 season. Whilst unfortunate injuries have hampered his playing time, he has shown both his class and versatility on the field, whilst being a terrific addition to the team’s culture off it.
“Will departs the Club come the end of 2023, having played his part in the Saints securing a fourth Super League title in a row last September, and played in the historic World Club Challenge victory over Penrith Panthers in Australia this past February.
“From all of us at the Saints, best of luck with your next chapter, Hoppa.”
Paul Wellens previously said:
“Yeah, so Will’s going to be probably four to six weeks. It’s obviously a frustrating one for him.
“What many people won’t know is that Will’s been playing for a number of weeks now with a knee that needed a clean-out on it. So what this has done as a forward is the opportunity to get that done as well.
“So hopefully we can heal two things in the same time frame, with it being his knee and his hamstring. I know that Will is very keen to get back fit and finish the season strong with us.
“We’ll do everything we can to put him in a position to do that because he’s shown so many times that even though he misses a few weeks, he can come back and every time he’s come back, he’s always looked like he’s never been away. So we have every confidence in him that he can be a big part of what we’re trying to achieve at the end of the year.
“Yeah, look, I’m not going to go too much into detail but we’ve always had the open and honest, transparent conversations with Will around our approach to next year. So we’re all on the same page.
“There’s nothing too much to worry about and Will certainly feels under no pressure around picking up this injury and needing to be doing things at certain times.
“Conversations have been had and we’re all comfortable with where we’re at.
“For any overseas player I would use Will Hopoate as a role model, how to go about your business. He’s as dedicated as a professional as you will find. He’s a humble, really grounded individual, despite what he’s achieved in the game. He’s always done so well, despite being a really quality player as well. He’s almost the full package.
“It’s frustrating for us, me as a coach and as a team, that we haven’t had Will out on the field as much as we’d like in the last 18 to 24 months. But what I can say is not through Will’s lack of effort or lack of wants.”