Former Wigan Warriors star John Bateman will miss NRL round one

FORMER Wigan Warriors star John Bateman is set to miss round one of the NRL after making the move to the Wests Tigers.

There has been much speculation about whether or not the England international would have made it to the Concord club in time for the Pre-Season Challenge following visa issues.

Though Bateman didn’t play a part in Wests’ two pre-season games, he made his way into the country over the weekend with a number of pundits and fans believing the second-rower would go straight into Tim Sheens’ side for round one against the Gold Coast Titans.

However, he is set to sit in the stands for that game with rookie Shawn Blore expected to take Bateman’s role.

Wests chairman Lee Hagipantelis previously explained that Bateman’s need for a working visa rather than a tourist one meant that the process took longer than normal.

“It’s just visa dramas during the Christmas period, he’s got to get through police checks over here and over there,” Hagipantelis said on SEN1170.

“There are no exceptional circumstances which mean he can jump the line, he’s got to stay in line and wait his turn.

“It’s also a working visa not a tourist visa which is much easier to get. He’s bringing his wife and child over as well, so we’re just going through the motions.

“It is beyond frustrating, we would have loved to have him here by now.”

Bateman is now in Australia after signing a four-year deal.