John Bateman: Wigan Warriors re-sign England forward from Canberra Raiders from 2021

John Bateman
John Bateman helped Wigan win the 2018 Super League Grand Final before departing for Australia

England back-rower John Bateman will return to Wigan Warriors for the 2021 season, having spent two seasons at Australian NRL side Canberra Raiders.

The 26-year-old rejoins the club he left in 2018, on an initial four-year deal, and will be closer to his daughter, who has stayed in England.

Bateman was a major hit in Australia, winning the Dally M second row award and reaching the Grand Final in 2019.

"I'm very happy to be returning to Wigan," Bateman told the club website.

"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.

“It's been a tough decision but to go 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."

Former Bradford forward Bateman is currently recovering from shoulder surgery, but is expected to return for the Raiders before the end of the season.

His coach Ricky Stuart had been disappointed with the manner of the decision to leave the Raiders at the end of the season, with a public criticism of the player's agent Isaac Moses.

“John is a big part of the squad and he's a world class player, so to lose him really disappoints me because we here at the club have worked so hard to build a strong roster,” Stuart said.

“And then you have players getting pulled out of it the way John has, [it’s] really disappointed me."

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