Disgraced former Brisbane Broncos player Jamil Hopoate was paid $7000 to act as a drug courier as part of a wider, multi-million dollar plan to smuggle drugs into Australia, a Sydney court has heard.

The 27-year-old, who played 12 games for the Broncos back in 2020, was arrested in May 2021 after he climbed in a truck that was linked to a drug haul worth an estimated $154 million in Port Botany, before leading Police on a pursuit.

He has pleaded guilty to one count of supplying a large commercial quantity of a prohibited drug.

He will be sentenced next week, although NewsCorp reports he had arrived at court with a small bag of personal effects, believing he may have been told his fate early.

The court was told that Hopoate was suffering from long-term drug, alcohol and gambling addictions when he accepted the $7000 for retrieving the drugs. It's been reported he had to be dragged from a van by Police after trying to escape, before engaging in a foot pursuit by jumping a number of fences prior to being caught.

Hopoate's lawyer Greg James KC argued that his client shouldn't be sent to jail and could serve his sentence via a corrections order.

Hopoate is the son of John Hopoate, who was banned from all involvement in NSWRL rugby league for 10 years back in 2018 following a violent brawl and numerous code of conduct violations.