Wigan Warriors said in a statement: “The club received a significant transfer fee for John. We thank John for his service over his two stints and we wish him well”; the move to Wests Tigers will be Bateman’s second stint in the NRL, having played for Canberra Raiders in 2019 and 2020
Last Updated: 26/12/22 9:12am
Wigan Warriors have confirmed that back-rower John Bateman will leave with immediate effect to sign a four-year deal with Wests Tigers in the NRL.
The 29-year-old had been in talks for several months with the Tigers and has now been reluctantly released by Super League heavyweights Wigan.
It will mark Bateman’s second stint in the NRL, 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 their Grand Final defeat in his first year.
Bateman 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 in the delayed 2021 World Cup tournament on home soil this year.
“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.”
Wigan confirmed Bateman’s departure in a statement released on Boxing Day. It read: “On Wednesday 14th of December, John informed us of his decision that he wants to try the NRL one more time. 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 23rd December, the paperwork was completed.
“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.”