World Cup set to go ahead... and John Bateman can't wait
John Bateman has been hugely encouraged by talk the World Cup will go ahead as scheduled this year.
Organisers remain optimistic the rugby league showcase event will not be postponed or cancelled by the Covid-19 pandemic.
And Bateman – back at Wigan after two years in the NRL – makes no secret of the fact success with Shaun Wane’s England is motivating him as he prepares for the start of the Super League campaign. He said: “The World Cup is massive, I’m excited about playing in it – 100 per cent.
“Even before Covid hit, I thought the work they had already done was fantastic in announcing the training facilities and the stadiums and the promotions. I had a chat with Waney last Friday and he was hell bent on getting us as prepared for it as we can.
“The World Cup is going to be huge for us, especially with it being over here.”
RLWC2021 chief executive Jon Dutton said this week he is confident that the tournament – featuring 21 different nations, and men’s, women’s and wheelchair events – can take place, despite rugby union’s governing body World Rugby’s recommendation to put off its Women’s Rugby World Cup event.
The event, due to run between October 23 and November 27, comes four years after England were edged out by Australia in the 2017 final.
“I played in the last tournament and it was one of the best experiences of my career,” said Bateman.
“Being with your mates for a few weeks, the games, the different teams, everything that goes with it.”