Code-hopping Rooster sets sights on boxing in Rio
Boxer Willis Meehan wants to fight at Rio 2016. Photo: Rohan Thomson
He's the hard-hitting Sydney Roosters forward who combines rugby league with boxing, but it's not Sonny Bill Williams.
Willis Meehan is the imposing 17-year-old with dreams of stepping into the boxing ring at the Olympic Games while terrorising opposing defensive lines on the footy field.
Along with playing for the Sydney Roosters' under 18s squad and training with the club's under 20s, Meehan is also the current Australian super heavyweight champion in the amateur ranks.
Tipping the scales at 111 kg, Meehan knows the day will come where he will eventually have to choose one sport over the other, especially if wants to reach his goals of representing Australia at next year's Commonwealth Games and the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
For now, he's keen to follow SBW's lead and balance both.
''Eventually I'm going to have to make a choice, but there's a lot of things I want to do in both sports,'' Meehan said.
''I talk with Sonny Bill about it a bit. The Roosters are happy because I'm keeping fit.
''I respect he can do both sports and compete at a high level in footy and give it a go in boxing.''
Williams made his much-anticipated return to rugby league on Thursday night, but the jury is still out on the code-hopper's boxing career.
There's no doubting Meehan's pedigree inside the ring given his impeccable bloodlines.
He grew up around boxing gyms following his father Kali Meehan, who was a contender for the world heavyweight title during an impressive 14-year, 38-4 career.
However, it wasn't until best mate Jai Opetaia fought for Australia at last year's London Olympics that Willis Meehan put the gloves on for the first time in two years.
''Seeing Jai in London was a massive buzz for me,'' Meehan said.
''It inspired me when I was just focusing on footy. I got the bug and really wanted to get back into boxing.''
He made an instant impact, a first-round knockout victory in the NSW state titles in November was followed two months later by winning the Australian belt.
That led to an invitation to a week-long training camp at the AIS with 20 of the country's most promising amateurs, vying for a tour of Europe later this month.
''Sometimes you go to footy training in the morning and you get to the boxing gym and you feel tired in the afternoon, or you go boxing in the morning and feel flat at footy,'' he said. ''But you've just got to dig deep and remember what your goals are. ''I want to go to Rio.''