Wigan Warriors: Rugby league fans react to John Bateman's England Knights selection
Rugby league fans have been reacting to the news that John Bateman has been included in the England Knights squad despite not being available through suspension.
The 28-year-old is currently awaiting to discover the length of a significant ban, following his red card in last week’s play-off semi-final, and could miss three to five games.
This would’ve heavily impacted Bateman’s Rugby League World Cup campaign, but his Knights selection will now see him run down some of his suspension before the tournament.
Taking to social media, one fan wrote: “It benefits England, it’s within the rules. Why not?
"No matter what club you support, you want your best players playing for England.
"The Australians would definitely do it.”
Another added: “Personally I think lower level bans should be against the competition they’re received. Serious Grade E up, perhaps, should be all competitions.”
A third agreed: “If it’s within the rules, why not? It would make more sense for the club and international bans to be separate, and let Bateman’s ban only apply to Wigan’s matches.”
Supporters couldn’t help but point out that the RFL were using one of their own loopholes to allow Bateman to be available for Shaun Wane’s side at some point during the tournament, which gets underway on October 15.
One laughed: “Bateman named to get around the ban? I like it.”
Another agreed: “RFL finding ways around their own disciplinary procedures.”
A third added: “Nothing shocking about it, it’s clever management and quite frankly common sense to do it.”