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John Bateman to leave Canberra Raiders at end of 2020 NRL season

ABC Grandstand logoABC Grandstand 30/06/2020

Great Britain and England international John Bateman will leave the Canberra Raiders at the end of the NRL season.

Bateman informed the Raiders this morning of his decision to depart the club, with a return home to his former Super League club Wigan or a move to Canterbury possible options.

One of several English players at the Raiders, Bateman was a key member of their run to the grand final last year but he is yet to play in 2020 because of a troublesome shoulder injury.

He won the Dally M second rower of the year in 2019 in his debut season in the NRL.

Raiders chief executive Don Furner said the 26-year-old had decided to leave after being given permission to seek other opportunities.

The Raiders are unable to upgrade his contract due to salary cap constraints.

"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," Furner said in a statement.

"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."

Bateman thanked the Raiders and their supporters, while revealing he would be at least a month away from returning to playing duties.

"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," Bateman 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."


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