Rumour Mill: Could John Bateman be set to return to Super League?

Aaron Bower
John Bateman

John Bateman applauds the Wests Tigers fans after a game in 2024

England star John Bateman is reportedly one of a number of Wests Tigers players who are to be offered to Super League clubs as part of a wide-ranging overhaul of the club’s squad, according to reports.

Bateman, who is in his second season back Down Under having returned to the NRL at the start of last season, is apparently on a list of players who, according to the Sydney Morning Herald, will effectively be shopped to Super League clubs.

Their CEO, Shane Richardson, is flying to England this week to engage with clubs in Super League about the possibility of signing some of their biggest – and most expensive – names.

And Bateman is near the top of that list. According to reports, he is earning $600,000 – over £300,000 – meaning he would have to arrive on a marquee deal if a Super League club were willing to take a punt on the England international.

Half-back Jayden Sullivan, who is on a similar salary, is another whose services are to be offered to Super League clubs – with Brent Naden another on that list.

However, that is not the only reason for Richardson’s visit. He is set to arrive in England on a scouting mission, too, with a view to identifying talent in Super League that the Tigers could recruit as part of a major overhaul of their squad.

Wests only have one spot remaining in their 30-man squad for next year as it stands, and Richardson is keen to free space up by offering high-profile players to Super League clubs in a bid to open up both room in their squad, and salary cap space.

But it remains to be seen whether or not there would be takers for any of the players.

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