Fed up with decade of failure, Wests Tigers land another big fish

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Reeling in England international John Bateman is final proof that Wests Tigers are as mad as hell for their decade of misery and they ain’t going to take it anymore.

It should not have taken them anywhere near that long to get fed up with failing to make the finals year after year.

But the fact is that whatever the reasons, it did take 11 seasons before someone at the club had the gumption to say, enough is enough.

Landing Bateman’s signature means that in 2023 Wests Tigers will have a forward pack that will match it with anyone.

Origin hooker Api Koroisau, boom second rower Isaiah Papali’I and experienced prop David Klemmer, along with Bateman and some exciting youngers will provide the platform required to win enough games to play finals footy.

The club still needs one or two gun outside backs, but everyone knows the engine room in rugby league is in the forwards.

It’s something that the club’s premiership winning coach Tim Sheens is acutely aware of in his second stint in charge.

Sheens says Bateman, pictured above scoring for England in the recent rugby league World Cup, is an important addition to the team.
“He’s a world class player with an enormous work ethic,” he said.

“He’s the type of player who leads by example. I have no doubt John will make a big contribution to this club over the next few years,” Sheens said.

Bateman, who will link up with Wests Tigers in January, played the last two seasons in the English Super League.
The 29-year-old joins Wests Tigers for what will be his second stint in the NRL, having made a huge impact in his two seasons with Canberra.

Bateman helped take the Raiders all the way to the NRL grand final in 2019, falling one game short of a second grand final appearance the following year.
Bateman says he’s excited to be joining Wests Tigers during an exciting phase for the club.  

“I can’t wait to begin a new chapter at a club that I know is going places,” he said.
“There has been a lot of change at Wests Tigers over the past few months and everything I hear is positive.
“I want to be a part of the rebuild at the club and I’m really excited to be coming back to the NRL.”

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