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Bateman eyes ex-Bulldog's historic premiership double

John Bateman sits just 80 minutes from being the first Englishman to win back-to-back premierships in separate hemispheres, having cheered on the only Australian to do so as a kid.

Bateman is expected to train with at the Raiders' captain's run after being floored by a virus in the lead-up to Sunday's grand final showdown with the Roosters.

A Canberra upset would make Bateman the first player to win a Super League title one year (exiting Wigan with a 12-4 grand final triumph over Warrington in 2018) followed by an NRL premiership.

Former Bulldogs centre Ben Harris, who became a pilot after injuries ended his 164-game career across both competitions, is the only other man to go back-to-back, matching Canterbury's 2004 title with one for Bradford in 2005.

A grand final trivia roadblock for most, Bateman was well aware of Harris when the chance to join him in the record books was proposed.

"Ben Harris was it? At Bradford Bulls, yep. Too right I know who he is," Bateman said earlier in the week.

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"I was a Bradford fan as a kid and debuted there. I  remember watching that one.

"Knowing that could be on, a bit of history, but in any case just having the crack at a grand final, is why you play the game.

"It's what it's all about, you play the game to win. If we end up winning at the weekend it'd be absolutely fantastic, and that is the goal."

Bateman has been a revelation in his first season as a Raider.

He has well and truly brought his winning habits Down Under, with Sunday's clash his fifth grand final in six seasons, enjoying premierships with Wigan in 2016 and then repeating it 12 months ago.

"On Facebook the other day it came up - one of those 'on this day' things - that it was the semi-final against Castleford, so yeah, same time last year I was probably getting ready for the grand final back home," Bateman told

"The ring. The beers after. That's what stands out. Just how good it is those moments after. You just sit there, just enjoying it.

"You've worked so hard all year to get to that moment, you've come off the field with a ring, you've got your family on the pitch, my little girl, my nieces and nephews all sat there with me, I don't think there's anything that could make me happier."

For all his success though Bateman, and mates back home, still remember his first encounter with the Roosters – a 36-14 World Club Challenge shellacking in 2014.

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But even from that heavy loss, which was repeated in last year's return bout, came a silver lining for the English international.

"I remember it was a hiding," Bateman grins.

"I was 19 and they had a stacked team with Sonny Bill Williams and Anthony Minichiello.

"One of my mates who plays for Wigan, Dan Sarginson, texted me the other day and said 'mate, you owe them one, they took two World Club Challenges off us'.

"I've been reminded of it. That first one though, we were down in Coogee and it was my first time coming out to Oz.

"When I decided to move out here with the Raiders, trips like that helped me make up my mind.

"I'd been out here before, had a fair bit of time here with the 2017 World Cup, and knew what it was like. I'm not much of a beach person though so Canberra suits me."

Tickets for the NRL Telstra Premiership Grand Final 2019 are on sale to the general public through Ticketek and

Acknowledgement of Country

Canberra Raiders respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.