It has been confirmed that Hopoate has signed a three-year contract for the Manly Sea Eagles. A local promising junior, Lehi will be on a supplementary contract in 2025 before moving to the club's Top 30 roster in 2026.
Rising through the club's ranks since the age of 12, Hopoate was a key figure in the club's undefeated Harold Matthews Cup Premiership winning team in 2021 before later becoming the captain of the team.
Before being promoted to the Jersey Flegg Cup, he would maintain the captain role this year but for the club's SG Ball team. Able to cover multiple backline positions, he has primarily been used at fullback.
“Lehi is a local junior who comes from a great pedigree with a number of his brothers and his Dad playing first grade,'' Seibold said in a club statement.
“We have invested in Lehi for the next three seasons, so he will spend some of this pre-season with the NRL full-time squad. He will then go back and play in the lower grades.
"In 2025 and 2026, Lehi will come into the full-time squad, firstly as a development player, and then into our Top 30 for 2026.
“It gives Lehi a great opportunity to develop over the next three years. He is still SG Ball age in 2024, so he is only at the very start of his career.
“We want to build him up physically and help with his game awareness. We feel like he will develop into a really good player for us.”