Super League side Wigan have officially confirmed Canberra back-rower John Bateman will return to the club for the 2021 season.
Bateman, who was one of the Raiders' stand-out players in the their run to last year's NRL grand final in his debut season, was reluctantly granted an early release by the club earlier this week.
The 26-year-old, who has been sidelined with a shoulder injury that will keep him out for the a significant part of the NRL season, has agreed a four-year contract with view to a fifth season.
"I'm very happy to be returning to Wigan on a long-term contract," Bateman said.
"On a personal level, some of the best times of my life have been in a Wigan shirt and I can't wait to return, to play and make some more memories.
"It's been a tough decision but to be back to Wigan, to be at home with my little girl, my mum and the rest of my family is something I can't wait to experience once again.
"I still have plenty of unfinished business with the Raiders and my focus now is to get myself back on the pitch as soon as possible and put myself in the frame for selection."
Wigan's executive director, Kris Radlinski said: "Wigan are thrilled to be bringing John back to the DW Stadium.
"John is one of the best players in the world. He has the respect of players and coaches in both hemispheres and is a natural born competitor and leader.
"We've been extremely proud to see him take the NRL by storm in 2019 and we've always looked forward to welcoming him back to Wigan when the opportunity presented itself.
"We had an agreement with him that, should he come back to the UK Super League, then we would have first option on him.
"As he's entering the prime years of his playing career, I think it's a real coup for the Super League to have a player of his calibre return to the competition."
"John is now completely focused on getting fit and returning to the Raiders squad and finishing off his adventure in Australia on the highest note possible."