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Jarrod Croker’s incredible praise for ‘signing of the year’

Canberra co-captain Jarrod Croker believes teammate and new recruit John Bateman has been one of the signings of the year as the Raiders embark on their first finals series since 2016.

The 25-year-old who is currently in his first season in the nation’s capital is contracted until the end of the 2021 season but has already made a strong impression on his club and the NRL.

After losing 14 games in their last two seasons by four points or less, Canberra’s defence has been a key reason why they are one of the biggest improvers in 2019 and Bateman has played an integral role in that.

Croker told Macquarie Sports Radio Halftime Bateman along with his fellow English teammates Josh Hodgson, Ryan Sutton and Elliott Whitehead have brought out a winning culture at the Raiders.

“He’s up there as one of the signings of the year,” Croker said.

“As far as we’re concerned he’s been a fantastic signing for us and we’re stoked to have him here.

“He’s a winner and he’s a really good guy off the field and he’s fit into our club straightaway.

“He along with the other Poms have got that winning mentality and that winning culture and they’ve really brought that out of us this year so we’re happy to have Johnny here for a couple of years.”

The back-rower has played 20 matches this season and is averaging 117 running metres and 35 tackles per game.

Bateman’s English teammates Ryan Sutton and Elliott Whitehead also signed two year contract extensions earlier this week.

Canberra travel to Melbourne to play the Storm in their Qualifying Final on Saturday at 5:40pm.


Click ‘play’ to hear the full interview below.

Mark Kolbe/Getty Images.