Legend Andrew Johns has waded in after John Bateman revealed he wanted a contract-upgrade – saying the timing “stinks”.
The former Wigan forward told the NRL’s official website he would “weigh up my options and see what’s there”.
Bateman, who has two years left to run on his deal, has appointed a new agent, Isaac Moses.
And Kangaroos great Johns hit out at the timing of the story just days before Canberra play in their first Grand Final in 25 years.
“We’ve seen it all year,” Johns told WWOS. “The player signs the contract and is happy to sign the contract for three or four years, then six months down the track when they’re playing well whether they go to the manager, or the manager says to them, ‘Kick stones at training, we’ll get you out.
“We’ll get you double somewhere else’. The timing of this stinks.”
Bateman, who was this week named the best forward in the NRL this season, tried to defuse any controversy by tweeting that he hopes to extend his contract with the Raiders. But Johns believes action needs to be taken against this “rotten” behaviour.
”I reckon after Ricky Stuart will have something to say, whether it’s the people at the top of the NRL, or the club CEOs they get together, and knock this behaviour off because it’s rotten,” he said.