Bateman’s club debut is set to be put back

Wigan Warriors' John Bateman
Wigan Warriors' John Bateman

RECRUIT John Bateman is unlikely to figure in Wigan’s first game of the year this weekend.

Shaun Wane revealed the former Bradford Bulls forward pulled his back during training before the Warriors boarded a flight back from Florida.

“When you train as hard as we do, bumps and bangs are inevitable,” said Wane. “It’s nothing serious. We’ll look at it this week.”

Wane is unlikely to take any chances in Sunday’s friendly at Leigh, particularly as the Warriors have two other warm-up games before their Super League opener against Huddersfield on February 7.

Fans will be keen to see the 20-year-old in action after Wigan splashed out a reported six-figure transfer fee to sign the former Great Britain Academy captain from Bradford.

Josh Charnley will sit out all three friendlies – they also travel to Workington and St Helens – and is a doubt for the Super League opener.

He has had surgery on an abdominal injury which saw him miss the first-team’s training camp in Florida.

But Wane said it was “a minor procedure” and was confident last season’s 43-try winger will be fit for the World Club Challenge in Sydney on February 21.

FORMER stand-off Steve Blakeley has joined the club’s staff as a physio.

Several former Wigan players are on the staff, headed by head coach Wane, rugby manager Kris Radlinski, and coaches Paul Johnson, Steve Hampson, Paul Deacon and Jordan James.