Wigan back-rower and England international John Bateman has been reported with a return Down Under with Wests Tigers.
Bateman, 29, re-joined Wigan in 2021 after spending two seasons with Canberra Raiders in the NRL. He still has three-years remaining on his contract at the DW Stadium.
However, The Daily Telegraph has reported that Bateman is closing in on a return to Australia under Tim Sheens.
The Bradford-born player won the Dally M back-rower of the year at the 2019 awards ceremony with Canberra. He also helped the side to the Grand Final in the same season, losing 14-8 to Sydney Roosters at ANZ Stadium.
In England, Bateman has made 173 Super League appearances, scoring 39 tries. He won the Challenge Cup in 2022 in his return year with the Warriors.
His trophy list also includes the 2016 and 2018 Grand Final and the 2017 World Club Challenge. He was also included in the 2018 Super League Dream Team.
Wigan deny early links with John Bateman to NRL
Wigan previously denied links to the NRL for their star man, according to Examiner Live back in August.
Wests Tigers again were the reported club interested in signing Bateman, with Sheens reportedly making an approach.
Sheens, 72, will lead the Tigers in 2023 as head coach. Former premiership-winning playmakers Benji Marshall and Robbie Farah have been appointed as his assistants.
Marshall, 37, will then assume the role as head coach for a further three seasons from 2025 until initially the end of 2027.
Sheens takes over from interim coach Brett Kimmorley, who was placed in the role after the club terminated the contract of previous boss Michael Maguire in June.
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