Australian journalists have had a lot to say about John Bateman recently.
Last week it was claimed that he wasn’t worth what they were paying for him.
The Tigers paid $250,000 to sign Bateman from Wigan Warriors and he is now reported to be on $800,000 on a four year deal with the club.
However, Daily Telegraph journalist Phil Rothfield isn’t sure he is worth that much in today’s game saying on NRL 360:
“To be paying John Bateman, who did have a great year, $800,000 when most edge forwards now, the Olakau’atu, Kikau, Liam Martin, big strong and powerful.
“I don’t think he’s got that build anymore and I’m not sure it is $800k well spent, I might be wrong.”
Meanwhile, Paul Kent echoed these thoughts:
“And the danger with that is that he has come back into the game and he is in his position as a small forward.
“It is a long-term deal to try and get through.”
This all comes as Rothfield revealed that Wigan were happy to let him go after his form in 2022:
“I’m told that Wigan, although they demanded a transfer fee, weren’t all that fussed about letting him go,” Rothfield said.
“His form was nothing like the year he was Dally M Backrower of the Year at the Raiders.”
Yesterday on NRL 360 it has been claimed that Bateman wouldn’t play with former Wigan Warriors teammate Jackson Hastings resulting in his move to Newcastle Knights.
It was said: “As soon as we got wind that Bateman was going there, I got told he won’t play with Jackson Hastings.
“So I inquired about that and got told Hastings didn’t have a problem with Bateman but I’m pretty sure the other way round there was an issue.
“Following that, a week later Jackson ends up in Newcastle.”
And now it is being speculated on Fox League that he has an ongoing ankle injury which could see him miss the next month all the way to Round Six.
According to the publication, fans are upset over “mixed messages” wanting clarity on the Bateman situation.