Canterbury star Will Hopoate is at peace with playing football on Sundays but has not ruled out revisiting his Sabbath football ban later in his career.
The devout Christian famously sat out Sunday games in 2016 for religious reasons, receiving the full blessing of then coach Des Hasler and CEO Raelene Castle.
Hopoate told Sporting News that in an ideal world he would devote each Sunday to pray, but acknowledges it is not a realistic option for a professional footballer.
The Dogs have put no pressure on the champion fullback, but it’s understood Hoppa’s recently-signed contract extension did not feature a special clause giving him the option to sit out Sundays.
“I’ve always said that in a perfect world I’d take that option to not play on Sunday,” Hopoate told Sporting News.
“But Canterbury is my employer and there is common sense in everything you do.
“It is what it is. They pay me so I can provide for my family and I’ve got to do what they say and play on Sundays.”
Asked if would ever revisit his Sunday ban, Hopoate responded: “It’s something I’d love to do (not play Sundays). It’s something I’d love to do from the beginning of my career to the end of my career.
“But that’s the world we live in and reality is (games are sometimes on Sundays).
“Spiritually I felt good (not playing Sundays) but I’m still deeply religious and practice my faith where I can.
“I still attend church the morning of games if we play Sunday. I just make things work.”
Teammates totally respect Hopoate’s devotion to his faith and would have no problem if the No.1 was to sit out Sundays again.
Forward leader Adam Elliott said: “I’d back him either way. Hoppa doesn’t tell me to come to church on Sunday so I’m not about to tell him what to do.”
While Hopoate is a proud Christian, he was not keen to wade into the debate on Israel Folau’s controversial Bible postings.
Asked what he made of the Folau drama, the 27-year-old replied politely: “I’d rather not comment on that if that’s alright.
“I’ll just leave it how it is.
“I don’t want to say something that might put me in trouble.”