Eels re-sign breakout recruit J’maine Hopgood

Jasper Bruce |

Parramatta recruit J’maine Hopgood has signed a one-year contract extension after enjoying a breakout start to the 2023 season.

Hopgood was a fringe first-grader at Penrith before joining the Eels this year and quickly established himself as a vital part of Brad Arthur’s middle rotation.

He was pivotal at the beginning of the season when injury and suspension challenged the depth of Parramatta’s forward pack and he  averaged 121 run metres across 10 appearances.

An Indigenous All Stars representative, Hopgood was already contracted through to the end of 2024 but would have been free to negotiate with rivals for 2025 from November 1.

“I’m really enjoying my time here, this is home to me now,” Hopgood said.

Hopgood joins fellow Eels middles Junior Paulo, Reagan Campbell-Gillard and Ryan Matterson in committing to the club until at least 2025, with Paulo signed up for a year after that as well.

“J’maine has been a tremendous addition to the Eels squad and has brought much more than his football talent,” said club football boss Mark O’Neill.

“J’maine is tough, has a great work ethic and a good offload in his game. Not only is he performing on the field for the team, but he has connected well with everyone at the club and has brought a strong cultural presence.”