News Story

Mormon Rugby League Player, Will Hopoate, Passes Advice to Youth

Will Hopoate, a fullback for the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs of the Australian National Rugby League and a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, spoke to a gathering of youth in Tonga on October 15, 2017.

Will is in Tonga captaining Team Mate Ma’a Tonga, the Tongan national rugby league team.


Hopoate is joined on Team Mate Ma’a by two other members of the Church.

Will encouraged the assembled youth to stay strong in their faith, telling them, “Do not bring your standards down. Stay on the mountain."

Hopoate used a story from the Book of Mormon to illustrate this point. Amalickiah, an evil, conspiring man tried to entice King Lehonti to come down from his stronghold on the top of a mountain. When King Lehonti finally acceded and came down, Amalickiah’s servants secretly poisoned him and Amalickiah then became king. For more read here.


Speaking of his decision to forego a lucrative offer to play in the National Rugby League, Will said it was the “best decision he has made.” Remaining true to the faith he had as a young man, he turned down the offer and instead served a two-year mission for his church.

View a video of Will explaining his values here.

Several hundred youth attended the devotional. Also in attendance were Elder Aisake K. Tukuafu, Area Seventy of the Church and the Honourable Semisi Sika, Tonga’s Minister of Infrastructure and Tourism.  

Illustrating the principle that the youth have the power in their hands to choose to do what is right, he said that a tennis racquet in his hands is worthless, but in the hands of Roger Federer it is worth millions. He then invited the youth to use the power in their hands to choose to follow the Saviour, Jesus Christ.

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