Manly Sea Eagles officials will sit down with Will Hopoate and his management next week as they step up attempts to ensure the NSW star returns to the club when he completes his two-year mission with the Mormon church.

Hopoate, who returned from a hamstring injury last weekend, has attracted interest from rival clubs, but his preference is to strike an agreement with Manly.

That could happen as early as next week, although Sea Eagles chief executive Dave Perry stressed work needed to be done.

Hopoate could leave the NRL as rookie of the year, with that race a four-way contest between Hopoate, teammate Daly Cherry-Evans, Melbourne’s Gareth Widdop and Cowboy enforcer Tariq Sims.

Read more at the Australian