Blues winger Hopoate grateful for second chance

New South Wales’ Will Hopoate says he is grateful for the opportunity to atone for a poor performance in the State of Origin opener.

With Brett Morris returning from injury for next Wednesday’s game two in Melbourne, Hopoate and his fellow Blues winger from NSW’s loss in Origin I, Daniel Tupou, were in the firing line.

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Blues coach Laurie Daley opted to retain Hopoate and dump Tupou and ahead of NSW’s first training session at their Coffs Harbour base on Wednesday, the Parramatta star said he was lucky to retain his representative spot.

“I think gratitude is the word for the way I feel about being back in camp with the opportunity to play game two. I am very grateful,” Hopoate said.

“Everyone knew [Brent] was coming back into the team. He is an international player, he was playing some really great footy for the Dogs before his injury. If I was out, so be it, but I am glad to be here.

“I do need to get more involved and help out the middle there, they did such a great job for us (in game one) with all that tackling and making the hard yards. I want to try and help them.”

Hopoate has been criticised for his lack of involvement in game one, a match in which Queensland’s outside backs made considerably more metres than their NSW counterparts.

Will Chambers (23 runs for 242m alone), made more metres than Michael Jennings (seven runs for 67m), Josh Morris (six runs for 53m) and Daniel Tupou (nine runs for 74m) combined according to Fox Sports Stats.

Hopoate managed 100m from 14 runs.

“I may have stuck out on my wing a bit so I would like to hopefully get in there and take a few more runs and take some pressure of the middle,” he added.


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