The Manly Sea Eagles have stepped up their campaign to retain rising star William Hopoate by holding discussions with his management last week as rival clubs start circling the outside back like a pack of sharks.
The Manly Daily can reveal that Manly chairman Scott Penn met with the former NRL star and now player agent Tyran Smith who is looking after the teenager who has proved such a sensation this season.
But Hopoate’s future has been cast into doubt after he announced he would be putting his faith before football by announcing he would be spending the next two years dedicating his life to working as a missionary for the Mormon Church.
“We are certainly trying to lock something in,” Penn said.
“His decision is still relatively new, they don’t know where he is going and there are still a number of balls up in the air.
“There are a number of issues they need to lock down from their end.”
Penn said the Sea Eagles are hopeful they get something sorted with Hopoate prior to his departure from the NRL.
“That is our position and is something we discussed when he made his decision,” Penn said.
“We were looking for a first and last right of refusal.”
Penn is well aware that Hopoate has received approaches from other clubs in the NRL.