Tunnel vision is helping confident Bateman before facing Aussies (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Tunnel vision is helping confident Bateman before facing Aussies
9:00am Friday 3rd August 2012 in Bulls
John Bateman says he is loving his time in Australia as he prepares to captain England’s Academy side this weekend.
Dave Elliott’s young guns face the Australian Schoolboys in the first of a two-Test series in Canberra on Sunday.
Bulls star Bateman, 18, should skipper the side after helping them to two warm-up victories against New South Wales and Parramatta Juniors.
Bradford-born Bateman said: “It's been a good experience so far and different to back home.
“I think in the first game against New South Wales we were just shaking off a few cobwebs as we struggled a bit with jetlag and we were blowing our legs out a bit.
“But I thought against Parramatta we really came together. We looked really good, confident team and I think we showed what we can do.
“We had a bit more composure on the ball and stuck to our plans and things worked for us.
“Both sides have been good opposition and a good standard. Everyone plays rugby over here and the place is rugby mad so the standard was always going to be high.
“It’s certainly been a good test for us so far and everyone has stood up and been counted.
“I think it will be hard for the coaches to pick the team for the first Test match this weekend - I wouldn’t like to be in their shoes.”
Bateman arrived in Australia as a reputation as one of the best young players in Super League.
He is believed to be attracting interest from a number of NRL clubs, and a strong performance this weekend would only enhance his reputation further.
“We've heard a few rumours that the Australian Schoolboys are going to be tough and they've got a few decent players,” added Bateman.
“But we're not going to worry about them too much and we're going to focus on our game and make sure we do our things well.”