Canberra Raiders forward John Bateman. Photo: Canberra Raiders

CANBERRA Raiders forward John Bateman will depart the club at the end of the season to pursue "other long-term options", according to the club.

The Canberra Raiders agreed to release Bateman from the final year of his contract, with CEO Don Furner saying: “The club made the difficult decision to allow John to pursue other long-term options."

“We’re looking forward to John returning from his shoulder injury soon and finishing his time by helping us make the semi finals again," he says.

"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.”

Bateman has since thanked the Raiders for the chance to come and play in the NRL and says he will do everything he can to finish his time with the club in the best way possible.

“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 says.

“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.”

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Ian Meikle, editor