Wigan Warriors forward John Bateman has revealed he will decide on where he is playing his rugby in 2019 after England’s Test with New Zealand in Denver: and admits he has offers from NRL clubs.
Bateman has a clause in his existing contract with the Warriors which dictates he can move to Australia at the end of this season – and it has been rumoured for some time clubs such as Canberra are monitoring his situation at Wigan.
And Bateman admitted the time is approaching for him to make a decision on his future.
When asked when he will decide, the England international said: “After Denver, in a couple of weeks.
“I just want to enjoy my rugby for now. It is still stressful and takes it out of you. The worrying time is when you haven’t got clubs chasing you. I’ve just got to enjoy it – your career doesn’t last for ever. I just want to test myself.
“I’ve got a lot to think about with my family and that. I will talk with them, get Denver out of the way and a couple of weeks after that, it will get sorted. The offers are there, but pen hasn’t been put to paper on one yet. We’ll have to see what’s what.”
Bateman also admitted family – including his young daughter – will play a defining role in any decision he does make about whether to stay or go.
“It would be good for Millie,” Bateman said of his daughter. “She’s been in Australia once before but if she could come over often – my mum is a school teacher, so that would help a lot.
“But it’s not like getting in a car and driving over to training every day. It’s a tough decision to make but whatever decision it is I do make, I’ll be behind it 100 per cent.”
Bateman was quick to admit he has emotional ties to Wigan too – and revealed the fact he is so grateful for what they have done for his career could yet make it difficult to cut ties with the Warriors.
“Wigan is where my career has taken off really,” he said.
“What they have given to me.. people are saying, ‘why wouldn’t you go to Australia?’ but why wouldn’t I stay where they’ve given me everything and where I’m needed?
“Why change something that isn’t really broken? It’s about weighing up all my options – I need to see what’s what really.”