Toronto Wolfpack have added to their front row once again with the acquisition of Sam Hopkins. The aggressive prop forward joins Toronto on a one-year deal, after Leaving Championship rivals Leigh Centurions in the off-season.
Hopkins, having spent six seasons with the Centurions, is another player to reunite with Wolfpack Head Coach Paul Rowley in time for Toronto’s assault on the Rugby League Championship in 2018.
Having made his debut for his hometown club in 2011 Hopkins has spent his entire career, barring a one year spell with Wigan Warriors and Workington Town, at Leigh where he recording an impressive 56 tries as a prop forward. He was a key part of Leigh gaining promotion to the top flight in 2016 and made 26 appearances for the Centurions in Super League in 2017, again showing a great appetite for the try line with 7.
Well known for his tough and uncompromising approach to the game Hopkins will add some real grit and determination to Toronto’s forward pack, which looks set to be hard to match this year. A front rower with a deceptive turn of pace, Hopkins is a well-rounded player who has an overriding enjoyment and enthusiasm for the game making him a valuable addition to the Wolfpack squad.
After suffering the heartbreak of defeat in the ‘Million Pound Game’ only a couple of months ago Hopkins was elated to be joining such a pioneering club. He said:
“It’s unbelievable to be here at this club. All the boys have been really welcoming and the facilities here are second to none.”
Hopkins was understandably happy to be back under the tutelage of Rowley, someone who gave him his first team debut at the start of his career. He added:
“I’ve always been close to Paul (Rowley), he’s a top class coach and a real good bloke and I’ve always kept an eye on Toronto so to join them is really exciting.
“I can’t wait to get out there and meet the fans. They seem to love it over there so it’ll be really good to have them supporting us as our 18th man this season.”
Having tasted promotion and relegation in successive years, Hopkins is determined to use his experience to help guide the Wolfpack to the sport’s top tier in 2018. He continued:
“We got promoted with Leigh in 2016 and it was a great experience and I’m really looking forward to potentially doing that again this year with the Wolfpack.”
Paul Rowley was very pleased with the addition of Hopkins, a player he has a great history with from their time together at Leigh. He commented:
“I signed Sam from amateur a long time ago and I’m glad to have him back. He will add some freshness to us and he enjoys his rugby.
“He’s sometimes a bit unconventional but that’s not a bad thing and he’ll add some depth to our front rower stocks. We have a few that are a little bit older but he’ll produce pressure for places.”