How the last star Super League forward to join Wests Tigers is a huge omen for John Bateman

After months of speculation, John Bateman’s Wigan Warriors exit to the Wests Tigers was finally confirmed today as he joins the Wests Tigers for the 2023 season and beyond.

It all started in summer when Wests made a move for the former Bradford Bulls man only to be deterred by the fee requested.

But led by former Hull KR boss Tim Sheens, Wests renewed their interest during the Rugby League World Cup as Sheens, in England to help Italy, reportedly held a meeting with Bateman.

After this, the Tigers were happy to pay the “significant fee” Wigan requested which is believed to be $250,000 or £140,000.

He has now signed a four-year deal with the Tigers. The last star Super League forward to make the move to Wests is a huge positive omen for Bateman too.

He is following in the footsteps of England great Gareth Ellis.

Ellis started his career with Wakefield Trinity but in 2005 made the move to then Super League Champions Leeds Rhinos where he was a huge success helping the Rhinos to the World Club Challenge in 2005 and 2008 as well as back-to-back Grand Final glory in 2007 and 2008.

At the end of 2008, he joined the Tigers and helped make them a mainstay in the play-offs.

He was three times their player of the year as he spent the 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 seasons with the club prior to returning to Super League with Hull FC and would captain them to back-to-back Challenge Cup Final wins over Warrington Wolves and Wigan Warriors in 2016 and 2017.

If Bateman has the same impact as Ellis at Wests, he will be a huge success.

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