What if Mormons don't play League on Sunday?

DOES William Hopoate actually have to refrain from plying his trade on a Sunday to ratify his dedication to the Mormon faith?  

Surely his two-year sabbatical from the game to perform his mission of faith had already done that.  

Hopoate quit rugby league for the 2012 and 2013 seasons after playing a starring role in Manly's 2011 grand final victory.  

He reportedly turned his back on $1 million in contract earnings to embark on his religious mission.

Following that he turned his back on his junior club and switched to the Eels.   And now, four rounds into his third season back, he has announced he won't play on Sundays - even though he did last year and also the season before.

In 2015 he played on a Sunday in rounds 7, 10 and 26 and also lined up for the Eels in rounds one and four of season 2014.  

Hopoate will sit out three straight Sunday games in rounds 10, 11 and 12 against the Wests Tigers, Roosters and Canberra Raiders.

As these are the three rounds directly before Origin One, this decision will almost certainly cost him his Blues jersey.   But while he has made firm decisions on these Sunday matches, if media reports are correct the Bulldogs' fullback is "unsure" whether he will play in the grand final should his team make it through to the decider.

The big one is, of course, played on a Sunday night.   With so many boofheads involved in the game of rugby league - including a couple from Hopoate's own family - it is encouraging to see a clean-living young man with such conviction for his faith. And observing Sunday as a holy day is obviously taking his beliefs that one step further.  

But while I admire him for his strength of faith and his principles, my question is why the sudden change of heart? Why has he previously played on Sundays, including the 2011 grand final?  

Could it be that his former clubs, the Sea Eagles and the Eels, were not as accommodating as the Bulldogs in respect of his religious needs? Is that why Hopoate walked away from his junior club and then wrangled over his contract with   Parramatta before bailing out during the summer?  

Several NRL players are of the Mormon faith, but play and train on Sundays. Ben Hannant, for example, has won grand finals on a Sunday night but has managed to maintain his religious beliefs.  

Well done to Will Hopoate for making what is clearly a massive sacrifice, and good on the Bulldogs club for their sympathetic attitude.  

But will this decision lead to clubs in the future seeking religious information from players as part of contract negotiations?  

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