England forward John Bateman leaves Wigan for NRL move

England forward John Bateman leaves Wigan for NRL move

John Bateman has left Betfred Super League side Wigan to join Wests Tigers in the NRL.

The England international forward previously played in Australia for Canberra Raiders and Wigan agreed to let him go after a “frustrating period”.

A statement from Warriors revealed Bateman was told in the summer the club wanted him to stay but he expressed a desire to return to the NRL during the recent World Cup.

“On Wednesday, December 14, John informed us of his decision that he wants to try the NRL one more time,” said the statement on Wigan’s website.

“It has been somewhat of a frustrating period but the club now accepts that it is in everyone’s best interests that John is allowed a transfer from Wigan. On Friday, December 23, the paperwork was completed.”

Bateman initially played for Wigan between 2014 and 2018 before rejoining the club in 2021 and helping them win the Challenge Cup.

West Tigers announced the signing of Bateman on a four-year deal, and the 29-year-old said on his new club’s website: “I can’t wait to begin a new chapter at a club that I know is going places. There has been a lot of change at Wests Tigers over the past few months and everything I hear is positive.”

Wigan said they would not be seeking to recruit a replacement at the moment, adding: “We have lots of options. We will continue to monitor the squad and the marketplace as the 2023 Super League season unfolds.

“As always in these situations, we have acted with the best interests of the club at heart and we will continue to act in that manner. The club received a significant transfer fee for John. We thank John for his service over his two stints and we wish him well.”