Jamil Hopoate says he’s given no thought to completing a Mormon mission and insists his only focus is on becoming good enough to join older brother Will in Parramatta’s NRL side in 2014.
Jamil is in regular contact with 19-year-old William, who is in the first 12 months of a two-year Mormon mission in Queensland, but says he hasn’t yet made a decision on whether he’ll follow in those particular footsteps.
“It hasn’t crossed my mind yet, but I’ll look into it soon enough. I haven’t really thought about it yet because I just want to focus on my footy,” Jamil told AAP after making his Toyota Cup debut on Sunday.
“I’ve emailed him a bit – he’s enjoying it. He just told me to keep trying my best and just stick to it.
“And then hopefully I can make it up (to first grade) by the time he comes back.”
The second son of former Manly, Test and NSW winger John Hopoate to have graduated to Toyota Cup, Jamil played his first game in the under 20s competition in the Eels’ 42-16 loss to Wests Tigers on Sunday.
But the 17-year-old isn’t expecting to take that competition – or the NRL – by storm like his older brother just yet.
“Probably not like Will, but hopefully soon enough, I’ll get there,” he said.
“And hopefully I’ll get to play with him. It would mean the world to me to play with my older brother.
“I see how everyone looks up to him, and hopefully everyone looks up to me. It’s good to be a role model to our little brothers and sisters.”
Will Hopoate said he was unconcerned about the miserable form of the Eels, who have won just one game this year and suffered more heartbreak with their 31-30 loss to the Tigers.
“Definitely the club is in a building phase so I wouldn’t say to panic too much at the moment,” Will said in a statement released by the Eels before the match.
“Steve (Kearney) and the coaching staff know what they’re doing and they are planning for the future.
“The mentality Steve has and what he’s shown me as the guideline for the club has really caught my attention, and is something I’m really looking forward to.”