John Bateman to leave Canberra Raiders at end of 2020 NRL season | Rugby League News

England forward has been linked with Canterbury Bulldogs and former club Wigan Warriors

Last Updated: 30/06/20 8:45am

John Bateman helped Canberra reach the NRL Grand Final in his debut season

John Bateman will have a new club in 2021 after being given permission to move by Canberra Raiders, reducing the club’s English contingent to four.

The 26-year-old England forward, who was a huge hit during his first season in the NRL in 2019, has been released from the final year of his contract to pursue other opportunities.

Bateman is currently sidelined with a shoulder injury but was named the NRL’s best second-rower in his maiden season and will be a sought-after name.

He has been linked with a move to Canterbury as well as a return to his former club Wigan.

Bateman is currently sidelined with a shoulder injury

“The club made the difficult decision to allow John to pursue other long-term options and as a result, 2020 will be his final season with the Raiders,” said Canberra chief executive Don Furner.

“We’re looking forward to John returning from his shoulder injury soon and finishing his time by helping us make the semi-finals again.

“John was fantastic in 2019, featuring in our first Grand Final appearance since 1994 and winning the Dally M for second rower of the year.”

For his part, Bateman hopes to sign out on a high.

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“The Raiders gave me an opportunity to come to Australia and play in the NRL and I’ve loved every moment playing for the club,” he said.

“I’m doing everything I can to make sure I get back on the field as soon as possible and finish my last season with the Raiders on a high.”

Canberra have fellow Englishmen George Williams, Elliot Whithead, Josh Hodgson and Ryan Sutton on their books.

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