Manly have signed sacked Sydney Roosters youngster Willis Meehan, with the 20-year-old set to play reserve grade for the Sea Eagles this weekend.
However his short-term first-grade future remains in doubt, with the NRL unlikely to register a contract until they see evidence of behavioural improvement after discussions with the Sea Eagles.
“He’s not registered to play with the NRL at this stage,” an NRL spokesman told AAP.
“The usual process is for players to undergo training and rehabilitation before a fresh registration is considered.”
However Meehan will still be eligible to play at NSW Cup level, with the registration for that competition remaining with the NSW Rugby League.
It was under the same process that St George Illawarra’s Russell Packer was able to return to competitive rugby league last season following a jail term for assault, before playing in the NRL again in 2016.
Meehan, who made his NRL debut for the Roosters in 2014 and also has a career in boxing, was dumped by the club last July over a charge of assaulting a taxi driver for which he was later convicted.
A former Australian schoolboys representative, he had previously been placed on a good behaviour bond for headbutting a man and stealing his watch near The Star Casino last April.
He’s been named by the Sea Eagles to wear No.17 for this weekend’s NSW Cup clash with the Warriors, earmarking a return to the sport.