JOHN Bateman is expecting Wigan to beat Dewsbury tomorrow – but the young prop is not anticipating an easy ride.
The 20-year-old recruit from Bradford Bulls is part of a strong 19-man squad making the trip to the Tetley’s Stadium as the Challenge Cup holders look to add a record-extending 20th success to their honour roll.
And although Bateman is confident Warriors will progress to round five, he is aware of the quality in the Championship outfit.
“Take nothing away from Dewsbury but we should win, though we will have to do well on the day,” he said.
“Dewsbury would be capable of shocking us but if we do well on the day we’ll come through. It looks like they’ll give us a good go at it – they have some good players who will be up for it.”
Bateman’s rapid rise to prominence in the first team means he has not featured as part of Wigan’s dual-registration partnership with Workington Town, for whom a clutch of Warriors stars including Gil Dudson and Jordan James appeared against Dewsbury last weekend.
The youngster has also been denied an opportunity to get his own extra homework in on the Rams – through his friendship with Dewsbury star Jobe Murphy.
“I was at his house before and we were talking about the game,” he said.
“But neither of us are going to give anything away about tactics beforehand.”
He has played at the Tetley’s Stadium before with Bradford Bulls in pre-season friendlies, and unlike his teammates knows exactly what to expect.
“It’s a little boggy pitch and it will be hostile,” he said.