Canberra officially announce Bateman

Alex Yoxall

NRL side Canberra Raiders have officially announced that they’ve acquired the services of England International John Bateman on a three year deal from 2019.

Bateman, 24, is currently a Wigan Warriors player and will remain so for the remainder of the 2018 Betfred Super League season.

The second-rower has made over 150 appearances for both Bradford and Wigan, as well as earning himself 12 International test caps – the most recent being the historic mid-season International test match played in Denver.

Bateman detailed how the move was “an incredibly tough decision” but expressed he had always “had the desire to play in the NRL”.

On the signing, Raiders recruitment and high performance director, Peter Mulholland said the signing of another English International is exciting.

“At 24, he’s got the perfect mix of experience and youth and we’re really looking forward to seeing him in green in 2019,”

“John is a wonderful talent who has the ability and skill set to play a number of positions.”

“We’ve already seen the success of both Elliot Whitehead and Josh Hodgson transitioning from Super League to NRL and we see John as being a player who can make a similar impact in this competition.”

Canberra revealed that the negotiations with Bateman had been ongoing for several months, but they held back the announcement of the deal to allow his current club, Wigan, the opportunity to let their supporters know of his departure.