John Bateman will once again be leaving Wigan Warriors for the NRL as he did in 2018.
After a two year return to the DW Stadium which yielded the Challenge Cup as he wore the famous number 13 previously donned by legends Sean O’Loughlin and Andy Farrell, he will be headed to the Wests Tigers in 2023.
This comes after their interest had long been reported and after rumours that Bateman was set to sign a long term deal with the club which has now been confirmed to be a four-year deal which will take him up to the age of 33 and the end of the 2026 season.
This four-year deal points to the involvement of a legendary figure in the transfer that being Rugby League World Cup winner and NRL Grand Final hero Benji Marshall.
Marshall is currently acting as assistant coach under Tim Sheens, who formerly worked with Hull KR.
He will then take the reins as Head Coach in the near future meaning the decision to sign Bateman to a four-year deal means that Marshall sees him as in his plans for the future whilst Sheens sees him in his plans for the present.
The last English forward to join the Wests Tigers was Leeds Rhinos star Gareth Ellis who was a huge success with the club before moving to Hull FC.