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Raiders back-rower John Bateman.

John Bateman's body is crying out for some rest as he gingerly stands up to head towards the showers in the ANZ Stadium dressing rooms.

Sitting silently with the Canberra Raiders star in a corner of the room is his grandmother Patricia Brook, his brother Kyle and his best friend Liam Harrison. They've flown from the UK to be with Bateman for the biggest day on the NRL calendar.

He partially rewarded them by being named Dally M Second Rower of the Year last Wednesday night.

That came in his first season with the Raiders after successful stints with Bradford and Wigan in Super League.

That midweek joy didn't stop the daggers of defeat cutting deep as he tried to process the 14-8 grand final loss to the Roosters.

Match Highlights: Roosters v Raiders

"It's shit ... really horrible. It is definitely one of the worst feelings possible," he tells

Bateman can't accurately say which part of him aches the most.

"I need a good rest. It's been a very tough year, a very long year. I'm so tired."

However, the international season is here. Bateman will be front and centre in Wayne Bennett's 24-man Great Britain squad to play the four upcoming Tests: Tonga (October 26), New Zealand (November 2 and 9), Papua New Guinea (November 16).

Bateman will bypass the World Cup 9s at Bankwest Stadium. Does he have enough left in the tank for the Lions?

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"I'll always be available to play for my country. England will always be a big priority in my life," he said of his 15 Tests so far for England.

The Lions tour incorporates players from England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales.

Bateman finished Sunday's grand final as the most prolific tackler in the match with 50. Roosters prop Jared Waerea-Hargreaves made 41.

He also made 100 metres with ball in hand and broke two tackles. But the match stats aren't why he feels so fatigued.

"It's such a long season, you work so hard ... it's a bit of everything really. We've got such a special bunch of people here and done so well this year," Bateman said.

"And we got here [grand final] when no-one thought we would. People didn't even have us in the top-eight at the start of the season.

"We did something so special but probably no-one will remember that now the way we finished."

Bateman wants the Raiders to lift the Provan-Summons trophy again so he's committed himself to getting an upgraded contract finalised before the 2020 pre-season starts.

"We've got such a young group going forward and I just want to be a part of that over the next couple of years," said Bateman, who is contracted until 2021.

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Last week Bateman conceded to he might look elsewhere if a deal couldn't be struck.

"Obviously it's hard to look forward just now but there's a lot of good to come out of this club yet," he said.

"And I know I will keep improving. You never stop that until the say you stop playing. That's all I want to keep doing.

"I want to get the contract sorted. I want to get it signed by Canberra and with Canberra."

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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