John Bateman responds to claims of Wigan Warriors exit for the first time

THIS morning, Australian publication the Daily Telegraph reported that Wigan Warriors star John Bateman is on the verge of a move to NRL side Wests Tigers.

The publication has claimed that the two clubs are close to agreeing a fee of about £140,000 with Bateman reportedly signing a three-year deal.

However, at the England press conference earlier today when asked about a potential deal, Bateman stated that his focus is firmly on the World Cup and doing well for his country.

“I think I’m pretty sure I’m here to talk about England,” Bateman said.

“I’ll talk to you about that after the World Cup. I want to focus on the World Cup, to be fair.”

Bateman rejoined Wigan back in 2020 ahead of the 2021 Super League season after a brilliant spell with the Canberra Raiders in the NRL.

The second-rower won the Dally M Second Rower of the Year award in his first season back in 2019 before enduring a difficult year in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

However, Wests are in the mood to rebuild their side following a dismal 2022 in which they finished bottom of the NRL ladder with just five wins all season.