Wests Tigers have confirmed the signing of Wigan and England back-rower John Bateman on a four-year deal.
It will mark Bateman’s second stint in the competition, having featured across two seasons with Canberra Raiders in 2019 and 2020. He made 34 appearances for the side, scoring eight tries, and featured in the Grand Final defeat in his first year.
Bateman, 29, returned to Super League with Wigan ahead of the 2021 season, and won the Challenge Cup with the Warriors in 2022.
He also featured for England at the delayed 2021 World Cup tournament on home soil.
“I can’t wait to begin a new chapter at a club that I know is going places,” Bateman said.
“There has been a lot of change at Wests Tigers over the past few months and everything I hear is positive.
“I want to be a part of the rebuild at the club and I’m really excited to be coming back to the NRL.”
“He’s a world class player with an enormous work ethic,” added head coach Tim Sheens.
“I have no doubt John will make a big contribution to this club over the next few years.”
Wigan have confirmed that they have no immediate replacement for Bateman, while the transfer has delayed squad numbers until the new year.
“There will be no immediate replacement for John as players have their contracts agreed with their clubs,” a Wigan statement read.
”The recruitment of two class centres in Toby King and Jake Wardle means that Willie Isa and Kai Pearce-Paul can move back to their preferred positions at back-row and with Liam Farrell and Morgan Smithies, we have lots of options.
“We will continue to monitor the squad and the marketplace as the 2023 Super League season unfolds.”