England International Headed to NRL?

It has been reported that NRL clubs are chasing England International star and Wigan star John Bateman after his recent trip down-under for the World Cup.

Bateman, 24, is currently under contract with Wigan until the end of the 2019 season, but it believe to be very interested in making the switch to the NRL to test himself against the best on a weekly basis.

Bateman’s current contract has clause in it, which allows him to talk to NRL clubs. A picture then surfaced of him speaking with Shane Flanagan, coach of NRL club the Cronulla Sharks. The photo has raised a number of concerns from Wigan fans as they fear one of their best attacking forwards is set for a departure at seasons end.

‘I’ve got a clause in my contract that allows me to speak to NRL clubs, but my aim is to remain at Wigan and I’m willing to speak to them about a new contract, but I’ve heard nothing from the club as of yet.”

I’ve got a young family and I don’t want to get to October and decide if I am to remain here in Wigan or If I’m moving my family to Australia. I need to consider all options before making my final decison.

Bateman has been on the radar of many NRL clubs for a number of years and the salary cap difference between the RFL and NRL could determine where Bateman will play in 2019.

It is understood the birth of his daughter is the main reason that has kept him in England previously, but now concedes time could be right for him to face his ultimate test in the NRL.

“When I had my little girl I wanted her to grow up with her dad in England and that is the only reason why I stayed in England”.

“As I understand it, there is a number of NRL clubs speaking with my agent. He has kept me up-to-date on all offers and I will decide what is best for me and my family sooner rather than later”

Bateman has made 138 RFL appearances, debuting with Bradford Bulls in 2011, before making the switch to Wigan at the end of the 2013 season. Bateman has made over 100 appearances for Wigan, whilst also making 12 appearances for England.

Bateman is expected to make a decision on his playing future within the coming weeks.