John Bateman NRL talk continues with Wests Tigers reportedly leading the race

John Bateman is continued to be linked with a return to the NRL less than a year after leaving Canberra to come back to Wigan.

The second-rower had been a Raiders player for just two seasons when he decided to leave and rejoin the Warriors on a long-term contract.

However, with Bateman’s partner reportedly homesick and wanting to return to the southern hemisphere, NRL clubs have now been put on red alert, with Wests Tigers leading the race.

“It was a whisper over the weekend and now it’s become the talk of a number of clubs,” The Daily Telegraph’s Dean Ritchie said today.

“There’s no offer yet, but he’s over there in England playing for Wigan at the moment.

“He’s married to an Australian and there’s a suggestion she’d like to come home.

“It’s in an embryonic stage, and clubs are monitoring it. I certainly think given we don’t know what price he’ll put on himself.

“If he comes back with a bit of value there would be clubs jumping at him.

“I think the Tigers would look at him as he’s the player they need and obviously Michael Maguire’s link to Wigan.”

Bateman is still rated very highly down under after excelling during his two years in the Australian capital, helping the Raiders to the Grand Final in his debut season after he was named in the Dally M Team of the Year.

His return to Wigan hasn’t been all it was expected to be despite his own personal performances remaining to a high level, but the 27-year-old could be tempted by a return to the NRL should the offer be right.

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