Dyldam Parramatta Eels centre Will Hopoate has spent the recent Representative Round week receiving treatment for a niggling groin injury and the Blue and Gold outside back is confident he will be ready to take on the Melbourne Storm this weekend.
Hopoate, who missed the City v Country clash due to the injury, admitted that the injury has been present for the opening 9 rounds of the NRL Telstra Premiership.
“I had my groin sorted out throughout the week with an injection so it helped having a few days off because I needed to let it heal and recover. It’s been playing up for a while now,” Hopoate said of the injury.
“Since pre-season it has started to niggle and games over time it hurts it a bit but it feels okay at the moment so I can’t wait to get out and run.”
Hopoate was confident of being ready to go for Sunday afternoon’s clash at Pirtek Stadium.
“I should be right for this weekend. I'm looking forward to training and preparing for it,” Hopoate said.
The centre, who started the season at fullback, admitted his form wasn’t where he would like, but refused to use his groin injury as an excuse.
“I feel I haven’t been in the best form in general,” Hopoate said.
“The groin injury is not an excuse, whenever you run on the field you should play well for the boys, but I would like to improve my form from the first third of the season and hopefully that can start this weekend against Melbourne.”
Hopoate is focused on returning to his best form at Parramatta, rather than focusing his sights on the upcoming Origin fixture where he featured in last year’s NSW campaign.
“Laurie Daley knows what he is doing and he is going to do what is best for the state.” Hopoate said.
“To be honest, it’s not at the forefront of my mind. I am playing the best that I can for Parramatta and whatever comes off the back of that is a bonus.”
The Eels are three wins – five losses to start the season, however Hopoate was confident the Blue and Gold could turn things around with plenty of time remaining in the season.
“A few more wins would be handy but that’s the way the season goes,” Hopoate said.
“If you don’t turn up on game day you pay the price and unfortunately that’s been the case but with the rep weekend gone, the boys are feeling fresh and we are looking forward to the next part of the season.”
The Eels will take on the Melbourne Storm this weekend at Pirtek Stadium, and Hopoate said that the week off would benefit the side ahead of the tough clash.
“I think every team enjoyed this week off. Each week is tough in the NRL and when you are playing for 80 minutes it takes a toll on your body, so it’s good timing and hopefully it pays off for us.,” Hopoate said.
“Obviously it will be a tough game. They are a great team, elite players so we will have to be on our A game to come away with the two points.”
“We are grateful for the support they have shown us through the good and the bad and hopefully they stick along with us. We have confidence in the team that we can pick it up from here,” Hopoate added when asked whether he had a message for the Blue and Gold Army.