Canberra culture is just like Wigan, says John Bateman

Drew Darbyshire

John Bateman revealed his Canberra coach, Ricky Stuart, reminds him of his old Wigan mentor, Shaun Wane.

The England star joined the Raiders in the off-season on a three-year deal from Super League champions Wigan Warriors.

Bateman, who has over 150 career appearances under his belt, revealed that a few NRL clubs showed interest in him but decided Canberra was the one for him because the club’s culture is similar to that of Wigan.

He told “A few clubs did pop up and my agent spoke to them all.

“I think the fact I spoke to Ricky [Stuart] quite a lot last year and in those conversations, I heard about the culture here and what he wants.

“He reminds me a lot of my old coach back home, [former Wigan boss] Shaun Wane. Those two are similar in the way they go about the club and lifestyle. So, I didn’t want to go anywhere else.

“The fact Canberra gets a bit of a winter he sold me as well!”

Bateman has been a regular in Wayne Bennett’s England side for a couple of years now, and he already has 15 caps for his country, despite only being 25.

Having made a good reputation for himself on the international stage and in Super League, Bateman wants to prove himself in the NRL.

He added: “The Raiders have put their faith in me by paying that transfer fee from Wigan and personally, I had a good year in Super League last year on the field.

“So, it’ about me repaying them and showing them – and the fans – what I’m capable of.

“One of the things I looked for in coming over is that I knew there’s huge excitement here about rugby league. It’s the main sport and the media attention is different to home.

“I’m looking to improve from that intensity and by listening and learning to all my team-mates and coaching staff.”