Australian journalist claims John Bateman wouldn’t play with ex-Wigan Warriors teammate Jackson Hastings at Wests Tigers

IN 2021, both John Bateman and Jackson Hastings were at the Wigan Warriors.

Just a year after making the Super League Grand Final, Wigan slumped out of both the Challenge Cup and Super League play-offs.

At the end of that year, Hastings made the move back to the NRL with Wests Tigers, with Bateman signing a deal with the exact same club on Christmas last year.

Hastings had struggled to settle in the Wests’ line-up with Michael Maguire initially picking the maverick at halfback before interim boss Brett Kimmorley switched him to loose-forward as a way of allowing the returning Adam Doueihi to play in the halves.

Wind the clock forward to the start of the 2023 season and Hastings is now at the Newcastle Knights in a deal which was concluded incredibly quickly.

According to Paul Crawley of the Daily Telegraph, Bateman didn’t want to play with former teammate Hastings.

“As soon as we got wind that Bateman was going there, I got told he won’t play with Jackson Hastings,” Crawley said on the NRL360 show.

“So I inquired about that and got told Hastings didn’t have a problem with Bateman but I’m pretty sure the other way round there was an issue.

“Following that, a week later Jackson ends up in Newcastle, and there you go.”

Bateman, however, is still absent for Wests ahead of their clash with the Knights this weekend which could have been a fiery afternoon.