Coach Kristian Woolf says St Helens have made a top-quality signing in versatile Canterbury back Will Hopoate.
The pair, who work together within the Tonga international set-up, will be in tandem at the Totally Wicked Stadium next season.
New South Wales representative player Hopoate has signed a two-year contract with the option of a further twelve months.
The 29-year-old Sydney-born centre, who can also play fullback, has also been at Manly and Parramatta, making 180 NRL appearances in total.
Captain of Tonga when they pushed England hard before going down 20-18 in the 2017 World Cup semi-finals, Hopoate has made eleven international appearances and five Origin.
“I am very happy and excited to be making the move and to play for such a proud and historic club,” he said.
“I have been coached by ‘Woolfie’ before and that was a big reason why I made the decision.”
Woolf said: “Will is a guy I know extremely well. He has played for Tonga since 2016 and captained them too, which shows what a strong character he is.
“If I go back to 2019, when Tonga played against Great Britain and Australia, he was one of our best players against two top-quality teams on the world stage.
“He has the ability to play in the centres, but he has versatility too. He has made a name for himself at fullback and so will be a great support to Jack Welsby.
“He has also played at six for Tonga as well, so that versatility and quality is going to be invaluable for us.”
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