Wane says Bateman will relish Test stage

John Bateman
John Bateman
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SHAUN Wane is backing John Bateman to “relish” the Test stage if he gets the nod.

Bateman - Wigan’s Player of the Year - is one of six Warriors in the England squad for their autumn internationals, which starts with a match against France this Saturday.

His form has been outstanding for us, and if he gets picked he’ll be ready for it, no question

Shaun Wane

They then face New Zealand in a three-Test series.

And Wane would have preferred to see the 22-year-old handed a rest, now that he has been called-up to the 24-man squad, he is hoping the ex-England academy captain gets his chance.

“If he gets picked, he’ll be ready for it,” said Wane.

“He’s one of those players who would absolutely relish playing on the Test stage.

“The more pressure, the better he gets.

“I would have liked to have had a break because he’s played a big part in our season, and he’s still only young.

“But I can see why Steve has picked him in the squad, his form has been outstanding for us, and if he gets picked he’ll be ready for it, no question.

“I’m looking forward to seeing what he can do.”

Wigan team-mates Sean O’Loughlin, Liam Farrell, Matty Smith, George Williams and departing Joe Burgess are also in the squad, along with returning full-back Sam Tomkins.

McNamara has yet to name his squad for Saturday’s non-televised match, which takes place at the Leigh Sports Village (kick-off 2pm).

Tests against the Kiwis at Hull, London and Wigan follow on successive weekends.