‘One of the best England squads I’ve been in,’ says ex-Wigan star John Bateman following series whitewash
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The 30-year-old hard-working back-rower returned from Australia ahead of the historic series to represent England once more, having been one of the 12 members from the World Cup selected in this year’s 24-player squad under Shaun Wane.
Now with the Wests Tigers in the NRL, Bateman left his best performance until last against Kristian Woolf’s Tonga, winning the man of the match award at Headingley Stadium in the 26-4 win.
He featured in every victory in St Helens, Huddersfield and Leeds respectively and believes Wane is building ‘something special’ with his youthful squad, having crashed out of last year’s campaign on home soil in dramatic fashion to Samoa in the semi-finals at the Emirates Stadium.
“It’s fantastic. The last three weeks have been great for us,” Bateman told the BBC following the third test victory.
“We’re building a great squad here. We could have easily dipped for this third game, but we turned up, put it into them again and we’ve whitewashed them and that’s what it’s all about.
“We’re building something special, it’s probably one of the best England teams I’ve been involved in.
“We spoke about getting the win and that’s what it’s all about.
"It’s a fantastic feeling, especially to send some of the boys out like Elliott Whitehead. He’s been a great international and is one of my best mates, so to send him out that way is fantastic.”