Impact of Aidan Sezer at Huddersfield Giants no surprise to John Bateman

SUDDEN IMPACT: Huddersfield Giants' Aidan Sezer kicks the conversion from the first try.   Picture: Tony Johnson.SUDDEN IMPACT: Huddersfield Giants' Aidan Sezer kicks the conversion from the first try.   Picture: Tony Johnson.
SUDDEN IMPACT: Huddersfield Giants' Aidan Sezer kicks the conversion from the first try. Picture: Tony Johnson.
THE success of Aidan Sezer at Huddersfield Giants has come as no surprise to John Bateman.

The pair were Canberra Raiders team-mates last season so Lions back-row Bateman knew just what the Super League club were getting with the talented Australian scrum-half.

Sezer, 28, has been one of the stars of the competition before the enforced break, proving his worth as a ‘marquee’ signing.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Bateman said: “I struck up a really strong bond with Aidan last year.

Penrith Panthers' Reagan Campbell-Gillard is smothered by Canberra Raiders' duo John Bateman, left, and Aidan Sezer in their NRL clash at Panthers Stadium in July last year. Picture: Jason McCawley/Getty ImagesPenrith Panthers' Reagan Campbell-Gillard is smothered by Canberra Raiders' duo John Bateman, left, and Aidan Sezer in their NRL clash at Panthers Stadium in July last year. Picture: Jason McCawley/Getty Images
Penrith Panthers' Reagan Campbell-Gillard is smothered by Canberra Raiders' duo John Bateman, left, and Aidan Sezer in their NRL clash at Panthers Stadium in July last year. Picture: Jason McCawley/Getty Images | 2019 Getty Images

“He had to bide his time early on but when he came back, and linked up with Jack Wighton and Josh Hodgson, he was fantastic.

“He played a big part in getting us to where we did with that Grand Final.

“There’d been whispers through the year that he might be going to Super League and, when it came to it, he did ask me a lot of questions about Huddersfield, where to live, the competition and things like that.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“When I was back in England, I spoke to him, too, and I knew just what he was capable of.

“I had chance to watch him play for Huddersfield and he’s started off so well. He’s got that organising game that they’ve been needing for a few years now and, hopefully, he can take them far whenever it all starts again.”

Conversely, Wighton’s replacement at Canberra is also someone Bateman knows well – his former Wigan Warriors team-mate and current England colleague George Williams.

The former Bradford star said: “It’s another strange one; I’m really close mates with George from our Wigan days, just like I am with Aidan.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“He has come in and done really well. I’ve been injured so I’ve had to take a bit of a back seat to everyone else anyway and had different stuff to do.

“So I’ve not played with him yet here but George has already settled in nicely.

“With Jack and Hodgo they’ve controlled games really well and helped get us two wins from two.”

Williams, 25, is one of five Englishmen at Raiders with former Hull KR hooker Hodgson, ex-Bradford Bulls second-row Elliott Whitehead, former Wigan prop Ryan Sutton and Bateman.