John Bateman 'never say never' to Canberra Raiders return
Canberra have left the door ajar for John Bateman to return to the NRL club.
The Raiders have released Bateman from the final year of his contract to allow him to return to Wigan next season on a four-year marquee deal.
Bateman says he is committed to his Warriors contract but told Sydney's Daily Telegraph he has the option to reunite with coach Ricky Stuart at Canberra down the track.
“I spoke to Ricky about it last week and he was asking me a few questions about it all. I told him that I was really looking forward to going home and seeing my family, spending time with them,” the 26-year-old told the Daily Telegraph.
"If in a couple of years time I decide I want to come back, Ricky said there would be an offer for me there.
“The club, myself and Ricky we’ve always been on civil grounds. Ricky said if I do ever want to come back to let him know.
“It’s been the best time of my life, the best rugby league that I have played since I started playing over here. You never say never.”
Bateman played 132 games for Wigan and won two grand finals between 2014 and 2018.
“I’m signed for Wigan for the next few years and I’m really looking forward to going back home," added Bateman. He had previously opened up about his struggles during lockdown, hereCanberra, who also have George Williams and Ryan Sutton on their books, play Sydney Roosters tomorrow (10.35am kick-off) in a game which sees Sonny Bill Williams return to the NRL.