Rugby league is a brutal sport. It’s physically and
mentally challenging. Opponents are trying to
take you out of the game, pretty much. Kill or be killed. Kill them or you’ll get killed. Scoring a try is one
of the best feelings— hearing the crowd, then
getting up and seeing the smiles of joy on
teammates’ faces. It’s pretty exciting. The feeling is very pleasing. My name is William Hopoate. I’m 19 years old. I started professional rugby
league when I was 18. It was one of the proudest
moments and achievements in my life. Since I was five, I dreamed
of playing with the professional boys. To get to run out in
front of a crowd for the team I supported as
a kid, and my dad played for, is
a dream come true. I’ve enjoyed every minute of it. After this season, I decided
to step away from rugby league and serve
a two-year mission. In my church, The Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter-day Saints, when boys turn 19, they can
serve a mission, which is a volunteer mission. You teach people about
Jesus Christ and do community service. To step away from rugby league
will be pretty hard, walking away from
money that could help support my family. But I’m still keen and excited to serve a mission. Serving has always been
a dream of mine as a kid, so I’ll be blessed to have
that opportunity. My parents are loving
and supportive. I’ve got younger siblings
that I love. I’ve been blessed with
the talent to play rugby league. I believe all these things are
blessings from God. If I can serve others to
show my gratitude, then I will. I’m a rugby league player. I’m one of the youngest
on the field, but I’m the oldest in my family. I’m taking a break
from rugby league to serve a volunteer mission. My name is Will Hopoate,
and I’m a Mormon.