In a bid to tie down their players making an impact, the Canberra Raiders have managed to hold onto their two current starting wingers.
Hopoate, who has seen an extended first-grade run in 2023, has re-signed until the end of 2025, with the veteran in Rapana signing on for 2024.
At 22, Hopoate’s current first-grade run is his best yet and he says it was an easy decision to stay in the nation’s capital for him.
“It was a no brainer for me (to re-sign) and it was great to get Joel (Carbone) and my manager together and make it happen and I feel very blessed,” Hopoate said.
“It’s been a really good development stage for me over the past couple of years and I’ve great role models here like Jordan Rapana and Nick Cotric who have played over 100 games, and I’ll look to keep learning from them.
“I’m just looking to keep playing well and try and secure a spot and play as many NRL games as I can and keep learning.”
As for veteran winger Rapana who is currently 33, the decision to play on came down to how well his body felt and how it was holding up.
“I’ve surprised myself with how my bodies been holding up and I’ve decided to go again for another year,” Rapana said.
“I want to thank the club and Stick (Ricky Stuart) for giving me another opportunity.”
Rapana knows that as a veteran, he has to lead from the front and that retaining good form is a key to remaining in the side.
“At my age, form plays a big part of re-signing and I want to keep playing well,” Rapana continued.
“We’ve still got a long season ahead of us and we’re hitting some form and I’m looking forward to finishing this season strong and then carrying that into next year.”