Wigan Warriors backed up their stellar Challenge Cup win last weekend with an emphatic 32-12 victory over Castleford Tigers on Saturday.
It was the first time that the Channel 4 cameras had been down at the Jungle to witness a Wigan side in a rampant mood despite celebrating their 20th cup success.
However, one player who was absent from the Warriors’ line-up after playing a key role in the Tottenham Hotspur triumph was John Bateman.
With Willie Isa and Liam Farrell taking the second-row positions and Kaide Ellis at loose forward, there were question marks as to why Bateman wasn’t included by head coach Matty Peet.
Of course, with it being a long season, Peet decided to freshen up his squad with fringe players such as Joe Shorrocks, Abbas Miski and Oliver Partington taking a first-team spot and performing admirably in the big win.
But, Bateman wasn’t included to be given a rest, the Wigan forward was in fact waiting for his partner to give birth with Peet giving the England international the necessary leave to be by her side.
For the Warriors, it’s another example of the emphasis on culture that Peet and his backroom staff are keen to instil at the DW Stadium, with Peet speaking on Bateman’s return ahead of this Friday’s away clash at the Salford Red Devils.
“John is available, everything went well for him and his partner and they’ve welcomed their baby boy,” Peet told the Manchester Evening News.
“It’s been great to welcome him back to work. He’s been full of energy as usual.”