Wigan Warriors re-sign England forward John Bateman from Canberra Raiders
Wigan Warriors have re-signed John Bateman from Canberra Raiders for the 2021 season on a four-year deal with a further option for a fifth.
Bateman, from Bradford, will return to DW Stadium after a two-year spell in the Australian capital.
The 26-year-old England forward has lit-up the NRL and was named Dally M second-rower of the year last season.
Bateman, who began his career at Bradford Bulls, said: “I’m very happy to be returning to Wigan on a long-term contract.
"On a personal level, some of the best times of my life have been in a Wigan shirt and I can’t wait to return, to play and make some more memories."
He added: “It has been a tough decision, but to be back to Wigan, to be at home with my little girl, my mum and the rest of my family, is something I can’t wait to experience once again.
"I still have plenty of unfinished business with the Raiders and my focus now is to get myself back on the pitch as soon as possible and put myself in the frame for selection.”
Wigan Warriors executive director, Kris Radlinski said the club are "thrilled" to have re-signed Bateman.
“John is one of the best players in the world," Radlinski said.
"He has the respect of players and coaches in both hemispheres and is a natural born competitor and leader."
Radlinski added: "In what are incredibly challenging times we need to be sensitive to the fact that the financial impact of the coronavirus will inevitably lead to a restructuring of the squad and the club.
"John’s arrival next season has been part of that careful squad financial planning. The reality is that, like many other industries, we will be making difficult financial decisions for some time to come, as will all clubs."
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