Bateman signing a show of Canberra's intent – Whitehead

John Bateman's signing is an indication that Canberra Raiders are serious about reaching the NRL Finals, according to Elliott Whitehead.

Second row Bateman was one of the NRL's most eye-catching acquisitions ahead of the new season, the 25-year-old agreeing a two-year deal with Canberra after helping Wigan Warriors win the Super League Grand Final in October.

The Warriors have struggled this term since Bateman departed and the Raiders will hope he can have a positive impact on their season having missed the play-offs the previous two NRL campaigns.

Whitehead, who has been with Canberra since 2016, feels that could change soon, though, given the arrival of his fellow England international.

"I'm good friends with John and it will be good to have him over here," he told Omnisport.

"He's a quality player and he's going to bring a lot to our team, he showed that in Super League – how good he is.

"To sign someone like him shows that Canberra are going in the right direction to get back into the Finals."

Bateman was in the running for the Super League's Man of Steel award last year but eventually lost out to Ben Barba.

And Whitehead is adamant Bateman can excel in the NRL too.

"He's a tough kid and he'll make sure he does everything right and be ready to go," he added.

"I've no doubt he's a competitive guy and he'll do everything he can to get his spot and keep it."

Bateman has moved in with his international colleague Whitehead in a bid to quickly acclimatise.

Given his struggles in the kitchen, Whitehead hopes his new lodger's talents are not just restricted to a rugby league field.

"He's going to live with me for the first few months until he finds his feet and settles in," Whitehead explained.

"[It’s] depending on whether he's a good cook or good at washing whether I kick him out or make him find his own place! He's going to come and stay at mine until he finds his feet. Then he'll get his own place eventually.

"Hopefully he's good [at cooking] because I'm no good!"

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