'Next Sonny Bill' turns back on NRL career
RUGBY LEAGUE: Three years ago, Willis Meehan was considered the NRL's brightest young star. Even described as the next Sonny Bill Williams.
Now the 21-year-old's NRL career is almost certainly over after the Manly Sea Eagles decided to release him from his two-year contract agreement.
The hugely talented yet troubled Meehan has chosen to return to the sport of boxing, where he once pursued a Commonwealth Games berth.
Despite previously being named alongside the likes of Valentine Holmes, Sione Mata'utia, Tepai Moeroa, Joseph Tapine and Kane Elgey in the 2014 National Youth Competition team of the year, Meehan's footballing talents it seems will remain forever untapped.
On his second chance after being sacked by the Sydney Roosters in 2015, Meehan attempted to resurrect his rugby league career via a lifeline from Manly, featuring in several NSW Cup matches last season.
However, Meehan's management has been in dialogue for several weeks with Manly officials about the young star's intent and focus on rugby league, which was split with his desire to continue boxing.
Despite investing the entire off-season into the talented prop, Manly advised Meehan they would support whichever decision he made.
"It was decided it was in the best interest of all concerned that Willis made a commitment to one sport,'' Sea Eagles football operations manager Gareth Holmes said.
"With the time needed in an NRL full-time squad, Willis chose to go in a different direction and we wish him well in his endeavours.''