The big news, outside of the Rugby League World Cup and the reveal of the Super League fixtures in 2023, recently has been John Bateman’s supposed move to Wests Tigers from the Wigan Warriors.
The story was broken by the Daily Telegraph in Australia who reported that the Tigers were ready to pay a $250,000 fee to acquire the services of the Wigan forward on a three-year deal back to the NRL after he enjoyed a great spell at the Canberra Raiders in 2019.
They also reported that new coach Tim Sheens is the mastermind behind the move and is the reason the Tigers have re-ignited their pursuit of the England forward after they “gave up” earlier this year.
Now Daily Telegraph journalist David Riccio has shed more light on the deal.
Speaking on Triple M radio he described the deal as “a moving train” and explained the transfer fee and how the Wests Tigers can afford it after a difficult few seasons.
He said: “It’s between club and club. They will have to make a payment of around $250,000 dollars to Wigan but this will exist outside the salary cap so basically it comes out of the coppers of the Tigers.
“They’ve had a pretty rich 12-18 months. Financially they’ve had a string of sponsors they can afford it.
“That payment is a moving train and will lead to a potential three-year deal for Bateman to join the Wests Tigers and that certainly changes things.”
Wigan have denied that there has been any formal approach doing so through Wigan Today.
Bateman himself didn’t deny the rumours but did refuse to answer the question when it was posed during an England press conference.