John Bateman has played down his chances of becoming the next England captain and singled out his old Canberra skipper Josh Hodgson as the best man for the job. The retirement of Sean O’Loughlin means England boss Shaun Wane will have to find a new leader ahead of the 2021 World Cup and he has already mentioned Bateman, along with Sam Tomkins, Jonny Lomax, George Williams and Paul McShane, as potential candidates.
“To be captain of your country would be one of greatest honors you could get in your career but it’s absolutely ridiculous to be fair,” Bateman said. “I’ve not sat and thought about it. I’ve played under some good captains in my time but, for me, the last two years I played over there with Josh Hodgson, he’s one of the best. He and Sean O’Loughlin are two of the best captains I’ve been under.”
“He knows when to say the right things at the right time and the lads really get behind him,” he added. “With Lockers retiring now, you’d look at someone like Hodgy to lead the country forward for me because of the way he goes about his business on and off the field.”
“If you put that question to anyone in the team, they would say they’d be interested,” he said. “But you’ve got to look at some of the lads that are Wigan through and through, like Liam Farrell, Sam Powell, Tommy Leuluai. Liam Farrell for me is what Wigan are about, he’s Wigan through and through.”