Disciplined ... William Hopoate, right, is living the life of a strict Mormon, unlike his wayward younger sibling, Jamil. Photo: Harrison Saragossi
THE manager of Parramatta recruit William Hopoate said the Eels' decision to tear up the contract of the star player's younger brother, Jamil, for a disciplinary breach would have no impact on William playing there in 2014.
Jamil was considered one of Parramatta's most promising players but his time with the club ended on Tuesday after he broke an NRL rookie camp for a night on the town with friends. He was punished after he also missed the squad's breakfast, other formalities and the morning training session.
Fairfax Media reported on Wednesday that Hopoate ignored at least five officials who tried to convince him to remain in the camp.
Apologetic ... Jamil Hopoate. Photo: Anthony Johnson
''It's very disappointing,'' the Hopoate brothers' manager, Tyran Smith, said. ''However, it's not going to impact on William joining the club,'' the former Kiwis international added. ''[Jamil's actions] pushed Parramatta into a corner. They are wanting to change things out there, like the culture, and they couldn't make an exception. It's unfortunate, but we have to accept the consequences of a decision Jamil really regrets.
''He apologised to the [Parramatta] officials for what happened and it was a genuine apology. He has to learn from this and hopefully he can get an opportunity at another club.''
William Hopoate, who last year represented the NSW State of Origin team and then won the grand final with Manly, took a two-year sabbatical from the sport to undertake his religious duties as a member of the Mormon church where he is serving as a missionary in south-east Queensland.
He has shown a great deal of discipline by living a spartan life that includes not watching television or listening to the radio, abstaining from alcohol and having limited social contact with people from outside the church.
Jamil Hopoate, a ball-playing back-rower who represented Parramatta's under-20 team last season, was charged by police in November for drink-driving. He had his provisional driver's licence suspended for six months and was also fined $500 after he returned a blood alcohol reading of 0.127.
Smith said Hopoate's parents - his father John represented Australia in league - wanted him to learn from that mistake, so they had made him catch the bus from their home on the northern beaches to Wynyard, where he then took the train to Parramatta and then walked from the station to the stadium for training. ''He was doing well, too,'' Smith said. ''The [round] trip was taking him anywhere from three to four hours but it was reinforcing that having a driver's licence was a privilege.''