Written by Oliver Kellner-Dunk
Back-rower John Bateman left the Canberra Raiders at the end of the 2020 NRL season to return home to Wigan and cited homesickness as the big reason for his move back to the United Kingdom; however, the 27-year-old is already being linked with a move back to the NRL.
The Australian’s Brent Read is reporting that multiple NRL clubs are looking to secure Bateman’s services from 2022 and beyond.
“John’s had a bit of a mixed time over in Wigan,” said Read on Triple M.
“He’s had some injuries, he’s only just recently come back from injury on the bench for a battling Wigan team.
“There is a bit of mail going around that there are a couple of NRL clubs are circling Johnny Bateman at the moment, just keeping an eye on things, potentially with the view to bring him back to the NRL next year.
“His partner’s actually from Australia, I think she is from Canberra, so there’s a bit of mail that she’s restless.”
Bateman returned to Wigan this year on a monster four-year-deal, that is believed to be the most lucrative in Super League history, meaning the Warriors would need to be sold on a pretty good offer to be willing to release him to any club, not to mention the fact that Bateman himself may be unwilling to return to Australia, as the driving factor for his return to Wigan was so he could live with and watch his young daughter grow up, who he was forced to have a long-distance relationship with during his time at the Raiders.
The England International has played 13 games in Super League this season, scoring a try, getting an assist, making two clean breaks, 30 tackle busts, 1,383 run metres and 446 tackles made out of 476 attempted.
We last saw John Bateman play in the NRL for Canberra in the club’s Preliminary Final loss to eventual premiers the Melbourne Storm, with the Green Machine going down 30-10.
Wigan currently sits in fourth spot on the Super League ladder and are gearing up for another finals campaign, as they look to go one step further than last year and once again become champions of England.