Former Wigan Warriors star John Bateman hailed 'best NRL signing this year'

John Bateman playing for Canberra.
John Bateman playing for Canberra.

John Bateman has been anointed the NRL's best recruit of the season by league legend Peter Sterling.

The forward has made a huge impact at Canberra since leaving Wigan for a six-figure transfer fee at the end of last year.

And Kangaroos legend Sterling, writing in his column in the Sydney Morning Herald, has seen enough to convince him he could become the best forward in the game.

"At the half-way mark of the season and considering positions held on the premiership ladder, it is hard to go past Canberra’s John Bateman as the current buy of the year," he wrote.

"Despite being a Test player, I must admit I didn't know a great deal about the former Bradford and Wigan back-rower when the Raiders announced him as another Super League import.

"Bateman's rugged approach on Canberra's right edge has added steel to a side that previously struggled to find exactly that when under pressure.

"I rate Slammin' Sammy (Burgess) alongside Jason Taumalolo as the best forward in our game. John Bateman is making rapid inroads in that pursuit."

Ryan Sutton has also caught the eye since switching Wigan for the Raiders, while their former team-mate George Williams is poised to join them at Ricky Stuart's Green Machine in 2020.

A deal has been completed but there has been no official comment from either party.