John Bateman takes to social media following Wests Tigers debut

Josh McAllister
John Bateman, SWPix.

John Bateman says it was an ‘honour and a privilege’ to make his Wests Tigers debut after featuring in his first appearance back in the NRL against Canterbury Bulldogs. 

Having originally been named in the reserves ahead of the clash, Bateman, 29, started in Sunday’s fixture at Belmore Sports Ground, Sydney.

His side fell to their third consecutive defeat in 2023 with a 26-22 scoreline, and remain only one of two teams yet to pick up their first win of the season.

Bateman posted on Twitter: “Such an honour and a privilege to make my debut for this great club. Looking forward to the season ahead with this group of lads and playing in front of you Wests Tigers fans.”

John Bateman hits back at injury rumours

Bateman has shot down rumours that he missed the opening two rounds of the season due to injury.

The England international only arrived in Australia at the end of February due to visa delays, having signed with Wests Tigers in December on a four-year deal.

“I think all the people that were saying it have never done a pre-season before,” Bateman said on the injury rumours on Fox Sports.

“It was just about getting some miles in the legs. I’ve literally done three weeks of pre-season.”

The Tigers had found themselves 20-6 down at the break against the Bulldogs before threatening a second-half comeback in 30-odd degree heat.

Tries from Luke Brooks, Fonua Pole and Charlie Staines saw the game at 26-22 with nine minute to go, but Canterbury held out to claim their second win of the season.

Bateman continued: “It’s good to be back. It took a little out of my lungs in that first half, but it’s good to make my debut.

“The result wasn’t what we wanted, but we got something there and we’ll build on it.”

WATCH: Josh Hodgson scores impressive first try for Parramatta