5th July 2020, 13:57 | Wigan
England forward John Bateman has confirmed he will leave NRL side Canberra Raiders to re-join Wigan Warriors for the 2021 season on a four-year deal, with a further option for a fifth year.
Bateman spent four years with Wigan between 2014 and 2018 winning the Betfred Super League on two occasions as well as the World Club Challenge in 2017.
The England back-rower was named as the Dally M Second Rower of the Year in his debut season with Ricky Stuart’s Canberra side.
John Bateman 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.
“It’s 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: “Wigan are thrilled to be bringing John back to the DW Stadium.
“John is one of the best players in the world. He has the respect of players and coaches in both hemispheres and is a natural born competitor and leader.
“We’ve been extremely proud to see him take the NRL by storm in 2019 and we’ve always looked forward to welcoming him back to Wigan when the opportunity presented itself.
“We had an agreement with him that, should he come back to the UK Super League, then we would have first option on him. As he’s entering the prime years of his playing career, I think it’s a real coup for the Betfred Super League to have a player of his calibre return to the competition.”
Bateman debuted for England in 2015 and has since featured in the 2017 Rugby League World Cup Final and was a part of the Great Britain Rugby League tour in 2019.