John Bateman will leave the Canberra Raiders at the end of the NRL season after being released from the final year of his contract.
The England international, 26, has been linked with the likes of the Canterbury Bulldogs and Wigan Warriors, the latter the club he left for the Raiders ahead of the 2019 season.
Bateman, who is recovering from shoulder surgery, thanked the Raiders, who said the forward was seeking other opportunities.
“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.”
The Raiders can confirm 2020 will be John Bateman’s last season at the club. https://t.co/WOXLhzydXV
— Canberra Raiders (@RaidersCanberra) June 30, 2020
Raiders chief executive Don Furner paid tribute to Bateman for his contribution to the club.
“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,” he said.
“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.”
Ahead of facing the St George Illawarra Dragons on Friday, the Raiders are seventh on the ladder.