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Raiders forward John Bateman.

Any notion of self-doubt has been laid to rest after English international John Bateman delivered a spectacular NRL debut in Canberra's 21-0 victory over the Titans on Sunday.

In familiar conditions for a man hailing from the north of England, Bateman announced himself to the NRL by amassing team highs of 154 run metres and 36 tackles to go with five tackle busts.

He is the latest in a growing list of Englishmen excelling in Australia.

A Super League player with Bradford by age 17 and a representative in 15 Tests for England to date, Bateman's credentials had coach Ricky Stuart and Canberra teammates in no doubt about his ability to cope with the demands of the NRL.

His 80-minute performance against the Titans convinced the 25-year-old that he belongs.

"You're not human if you don't think negative stuff," Bateman revealed.

"We've all got stuff in the back of our head but I was confident in myself. I know what I'm capable of to go out there and do it but until you actually do it it’s a whole different story.

"I just went out there to play my game and kept it as simple as I could. That's where I get my confidence from really."

A side strain suffered in the latter stages of pre-season deprived Bateman of the chance to play for his new club prior to round one but he reassured Stuart in the lead-up that he could handle 80 minutes in the middle.

Prior to arriving in Australia, Bateman had played predominantly in the centres and on the right edge for Bradford and Wigan.

He's a world-class backrower. You know he's going to play well

Ricky Stuart on John Bateman

"I played loose forward now and then back home, but to play a full 80 in my first game, that's what I really wanted to do tonight," said Bateman.

"I really wanted to get through it and it's like home, you blow the cobwebs off in your first game and that's what I wanted to do tonight.

"Playing loose forward is a bit tougher, you're doing a lot more carries and coming up against a lot more bigger bodies.

"Normally you can get at a little small halfback on the edges but I like being in the middle.

"It's the rough stuff. You get stuck into each other and that’s probably my game."

Bateman showed his confrontational nature with a late fake-out of Titans prop Jarrod Wallace. It was an in-your-face competitiveness that Raiders halfback Aidan Sezer has seen once before.

"His will to win is incredible," Sezer told

Match Highlights: Titans v Raiders

"You spend the whole pre-season with him since he's come into the squad and he competes for everything. If he loses he's not the most happiest chap.

"When you play rugby league, they're the type of blokes you want to play with.

"For me personally, I compare him to Greg Bird.

"When I was at the Titans 'Birdy' was the same. Him and Birdy are probably the two most competitive blokes I've come across in my career."

At just 97 kilograms Bateman gives up size to plenty of wingers within the NRL but Stuart knew early in pre-season just what valuable qualities he would bring to the team.

"He's a world-class backrower. You know he's going to play well," Stuart said.

Get caught up: Round 1

"Anybody who has coached him would know how much you appreciate having him in your team.

"You probably judge new players into a club by the way they interact immediately with your team and the players have bought in with Johnny straight away and vice versa.

"He's going to be a wonderful addition to the club and he brings a lot of experience, and big game experience."

As for the conditions that greeted his NRL debut, for Bateman it was like a duck to water.

"We've been training in 40-degree heat for the last two months so tonight for me was perfect," he said.

"To be fair, as soon as it starts raining like that back home it turns into a mud bath. But it weren't really like that outside, it was just constant rain.

"I won't lie. You're probably not human if you don’t get nerves making your debut."

Acknowledgement of Country

National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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