Bateman: Make it personal

John Bateman
John Bateman

John Bateman has urged his team-mates to make the World Club Challenge “personal”.

While team cohesion will play a big part in the outcome, the England forward says each player should treat the game as a duel with his direct opponent.

“Everyone should make it personal,” he said.

“They’re only human beings, and we need to give it our all and do our job, one on one - win our own battles.

“If everyone else does that, and on top of that the team comes together and we do what we can do and put on our plays, I think we can do a job.

“You’re on a higher stage, you need to perform, and as a player you need to prove to yourself you can go toe-to-toe against the best.

As a player you need to prove to yourself you can go toe-to-toe against the best

“Whether we win by one point or more, we just want to win and be called the best team in the world.”

Bateman’s debut for Wigan was in the World Club Challenge three years ago, when Shaun Wane’s side went down 36-14 at Sydney Roosters.

Since then, he has flourished as a player and is now one of the country’s brightest talents - he is the bookmakers’ favourites for the Man of Steel.

“I definitely didn’t expect to play against the Roosters, I played more games that year than I expected,” he said.

“I look back now and three years doesn’t seem long but I feel like I’ve improved a lot since then.

“It’s great to be playing in these games but I don’t just want to be taking part, I want to get the win - there’s no point just playing in them.

“Playing against Brisbane in the Series was good but this is the main game, this is the one.”

Wigan won the last of their three World Club Challenge titles in 1994.