John Bateman talks down NRL talk ahead of England Quarter Final


Speaking ahead of England’s Quarter-Final tie with Papua New Guinea on Saturday afternoon, Wigan Warriors’ John Bateman has talked down rumours linking him with a move back to the NRL.

A report from Australia originally linked the former Canberra Raiders man with a move to NRL-side West Tigers after previously leaving Wigan Warriors for an NRL side before back in 2019.

For the move to happen, it is believed that the Tigers would have to pay a significant fee of around $250,000 for Bateman’s services given his contract at the D.W. Stadium which runs until the end of 2024.

After the move appeared imminent, it was later reported on Wednesday afternoon as per Wigan Today that Wigan Warriors had ‘not received an initial approach for John Bateman.’

Whilst a move has been rumoured for a while along with Kai Pearce-Paul who is also heavily rumoured with a move overseas, it would certainly leave the Warriors short ahead of the 2023 campaign.

Speaking to the press at Robin Park, Bateman didn’t have any real comment to make on the matter.

He said: “I’m pretty sure I’m here to talk about England and the World Cup.

“I’ll talk to you about it after the World Cup as I’d like to focus on that for now.”

Whilst at least on the Warriors end the move maybe isn’t as close as it first seemed, it certainly doesn’t seem impossible that a move could materialise.

Bateman wouldn’t be the first to leave the D.W. for the West Tigers either, with more recently the likes of Oliver Gildart, who has since moved on to the Dolphins and Jackson Hastings who has just surpassed a year since his move down under.

But time will tell as Bateman is for now at least, focussed on performing for a Wiganer’ in Shaun Wane as England face Papua New Guinea at the D.W. Stadium on Saturday.

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