Ex-Wigan Warriors' ace John Bateman hailed "world-class" after NRL debut

John Bateman on his NRL debut
John Bateman on his NRL debut

John Bateman earned praise for an impressive NRL debut for Canberra Raiders.


The ex-Wigan forward made 30 tackles and 163 run metres on 17 efforts in constant driving rain as the Raiders nilled a side for the first time since 2013, beating Gold Coast Titans 21-0.

"He's a world class backrower, you know he's going to play well," said coach Ricky Stuart. "Anyone who has coached him will appreciate him in your team. he's a real professional who brings a lot of big-game experience.

"The players have bought in with Johnny straight away and visa versa. He's going to be a wonderful addition to the club and that's what you get in those types of games (in wet conditions), that experience really helps you.

Halfback Aidan Sezer told NRL.com: ""His will to win is incredible.

John and Greg Bird are probably the two most competitive blokes I've come across in my career. They're the type of blokes you want to play with."

There was one comical moment when Bateman threatened to launch the ball at a Titans opponent after taking offence to a shove!

Bateman admitted he was nervous before his first run-out for the Green Machine.

"You're probably not human if you don't get nerves on your debut," Bateman said.

"To pull that shirt on ... I've really been looking forward to it and I'm really proud. I'm confident enough in myself, know what I'm capable of, but until you actually do it it's a different story."

Ex-Wigan team-mate Ryan Sutton also made a debut, playing 14 minutes off the bench.