John Bateman set for surprise switch

After a rocky start to his life back in the NRL, former Wigan Warriors star John Bateman is tearing it up.

After visa problems delayed his debut, the back-row has been key to the Wests Tigers slowly turning around their poor form.

He has also been no stranger to a try.

In great form, the Tigers are set to take a gamble on the back-rower.

The Mole of Wide World of Sports is reporting that the Tigers are hoping to mould Bateman into a 13 with the backrow set for a surprise switch into the middle having played edge backrower for most of his career despite wearing 13 at Wigan in 2021 and 2022.

Bateman would likely relish this and is enjoying his time down under.

Speaking on Fox League after the game, Bateman explained why he has made a return to the NRL.

“I wouldn’t say I got homesick because I don’t class it as home,” he said.

“I didn’t really watch it (the NRL) because I made the decision to leave because I didn’t see my family for 12 months. It was my decision to go back home to see my family because like anyone at the time, no one knew what was going on in the world.

“My family weren’t allowed to come back to Australia, so I had to make a decision.

“The opportunity for the Wests Tigers to bring me out here (motivated me) and I feel like I play my best rugby out here because the game probably suits me a little bit more.

“I just wanted to come back with the Wests Tigers because I liked what Sheensy was talking about with what he wanted to build. When you get here you realise how big the club is, and we need to go places.

“Sheensy and the backroom staff and what they do for the club, that’s what we want to do. We need to go places and we need to build on that.

“I wouldn’t say there’s pressure. Pressure comes with anything, but to me, it’s about enjoyment.”