Bateman clarifies his move to Oz

John Bateman has set the record straight over his potential return to Wigan.

The England international’s long-awaited move to Canberra was confirmed earlier this month, but part of Wigan’s statement confirming his departure raised eyebrows.

The Warriors announced Bateman had agreed to return to the club as their marquee player, with the Bradford-born star quoted as saying: “Although I’m sad to be leaving the Warriors, it’s great to know I’ll be returning here in a couple of years.”

However, Bateman insists while there is an arrangement in place with Wigan, there are no guarantees on when, or if, he’ll return at all.

“It’s whenever I decide to come back,” he explained.

“I’ve not signed anything to say I’ll come back in three years’ time. I’ve had a few people saying I’m just going on loan for three years. I don’t want Wigan fans in three years time saying ‘eh, where’s John?’.

“My aim is to make it over there and stay there and be successful. I emphasised to Rads (Kris Radlinski) and Ian (Lenagan) that I did want to come back to Wigan at some point. What they’ve done for me has been special.

“But there’s no such thing as a deal already signed. I’m not signed to come back after three years with Canberra. They’ve paid a fee for me so I don’t want to disrespect them and do that. When November comes I’m their player and that’s how it goes.”

Bateman was talking to Rugby League World for a piece in the latest edition, which hits stores on Friday.