Canberra Raiders NYC rising star Luke Bateman has extended his current deal with the club and will remain in Canberra until the end of the 2016 season.
Bateman was currently on contract for 2015 and is still eligible for NYC next season, but the Raiders decided to extend his deal for an extra year to help continue his development into the NRL squad.
The 2014 season saw Bateman split his time between NYC and the Super Intrust Cup, playing 12 matches for the Raiders NYC, as well as 10 matches for Souths Logan in order to continue his transition into the rigours of senior football.
A product of the relationship with Souths Logan, Bateman has been a Queensland junior representative since 2010, representing the Maroons at under 16, under 18 and under 20 level, including this year’s NYC State of Origin match.
Bateman said he’s excited about the opportunity to once again train with the Raiders NRL squad during the pre-season and continuing his development alongside some of his current and former teammates.
“I had the opportunity to train with top squad last year and it really helped with my fitness and learning what it takes to become an NRL standard player, Bateman said. “Hopefully the experience from last season will allow me to have an even better pre-season this year and I’ll be able to push hard to hopefully make my NRL debut over the next couple of years.
“I’m excited about staying at the Raiders for another two years and hopefully I can follow players like Jack Wighton, Jeremy Hawkins and Brenko Lee who have come through the Raiders junior grades and gone onto play at NRL level.”
Raiders CEO Don Furner said the Raiders were looking forward to seeing Bateman’s progress over the next two years and said they see him as a future NRL player for the club.
“Luke is a wonderful talent who has been very professional for a young player and we believe his work ethic and attitude combined with his talent will see him continue his development into the next stage of his career,” Furner said. “He’s yet another product of the Raiders relationship with the Souths Logan area and we’re looking forward to having him at the club for the next two years.”