Rugby League World Cup: John Bateman previews England's quarter-final tie with Papua New Guinea

John Bateman says he’s looking forward to playing in front of a packed crowd at the DW Stadium this weekend.

England face Papua New Guinea in the quarter-finals of the Rugby League World Cup on Saturday afternoon (K.O. 2.30pm).

Bateman states it’ll be good to be back at the ground where he plays his club rugby with Wigan Warriors.

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He said: “I know the stadium quite well and have played quite a few games here, so I’m looking forward to playing in front of a packed house with a good atmosphere.

John Bateman

“It’s been a while since I played for England at the DW, but it’s just another plot of grass.

“It’s the same as any other field, and you’ve just got to go out there and play rugby.

“Be a little bit different, with some different fans behind me.“When you look at the squad, there’s a lot of Wiganers so it’ll be good for them.

“There’s a togetherness in the squad. Everyone is enjoying the off-field stuff as much as the on-field.

“That’s massively important.”

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Bateman knows how tough of an opponent Papua New Guinea can be, after being part of the Great Britain that were defeated in Port Moresby back in 2019.

“It was very disappointing,” he added.

“We went over and it was a hostile situation in their backyard.

“It probably adds to the motivation of some of the boys who played in that game, because it was a bit embarrassing.

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“They’re a good side and you know what you’re getting, they come straight and direct.

“It should be a tough game this weekend because they’re physical.”