Elliott Whitehead giving old friend John Bateman a helping hand at Canberra

Elliott Whitehead has been Canberra’s translator since John Bateman arrived at the club.

England international Bateman arrived in Australia last Friday, embarking on his journey in the NRL with the Raiders.

The 25-year-old has joined Canberra on a three-year deal from Super League champions Wigan Warriors.

But Canberra’s playing and backroom staff have been struggling to come to terms with Bateman’s strong Bradford accent, with Whitehead having to translate.

“There has been a language barrier!” Bateman joked.

“Elliott is like my translator at the moment, so it has been good. He has been helping me out and introducing me to a few of the lads and stuff like that so I’m enjoying it.

“I’ve just been getting used to life here, I came over last Friday and I have just been getting used to the heat and stuff like that.

“I know a few of the boys already so it has been good to meet up with them and they’ve been showing me around, so it has been good.”

Bateman was undoubtedly one of the standout players in Super League last season, picking up the Super League crown with Wigan while also being nominated for the Steve Prescott Man of Steel award.

And the England star admitted that he is just focused on cementing down a space in Ricky Stuart’s 17-man squad next year.

“I just want to get a spot in the team and play consistently,” he added.

“I just want to enjoy myself. It is a new challenge for myself and I’m looking forward to meeting the rest of the lads. I just want a place in the team.”