Super League: Wigan Warriors pay undisclosed fee to Bradford Bulls for John Bateman
Wigan have announced the signing of back rower John Bateman from Super League rivals Bradford for an undisclosed fee.
Last Updated: 05/11/13 9:36am
The highly-rated 20-year-old did have another two years remaining on his deal with the Bulls, who handed him his first-team debut back in 2011.
However, he has now joined the reigning champions on a contract that runs until the end of the 2016 season, with the Warriors then also having an option for a further year after that.
Bateman captained the England academy side on a tour to Australia in 2012 but endured an injury-hit campaign this year. Now fully fit, he will begin pre-season training with his new team-mates later in November.
"I am grateful to Wigan for giving me the opportunity to play at such a successful club and I am looking forward to this new challenge in my career," Bateman said of the move.
"I would like to thank everyone at Bradford for allowing me this opportunity and hope I can play my part in winning silverware with the Warriors."
Wigan head coach Shaun Wane was delighted with the latest addition to his squad, particularly as they had to fight off competition to secure his signature.
Bateman becomes the sixth new recruit for 2014 following the additions of Dan Sarginson, Tony Clubb, Matt Bowen, Eddy Pettybourne and Sam Hopkins.
"I am pleased to have acquired John, especially when he has attracted so much interest from other Super League clubs," Wane told Wigan's official website.
"He is a player that I rate very highly. I also see lots of areas where he will improve. As he matures with us, he will be a good asset in our quest to continually challenge for honours. "
Bradford revealed that they agreed to release Bateman after the player had handed in the latest of a series of transfer requests.
"On a number of occasions over the past two years, John had put in the request to be transferred from the Bulls and the new board and I agree that, unless a player wants to be here 100 per cent, that player may have an unsettling affect on the squad and coaching staff around them," Bradford chairman Ryan Whitcut said:
"The agreed fee is an undisclosed sum but will benefit the squad in the long run and allow head coach Francis Cummins to add to the dynamics of the group if he feels he needs to.
"With Frank Winterstein, Dale Ferguson, Danny Addy, James Donaldson and the many more back rowers we have available, we know we have strong cover in this position."