Bateman was spotted in talks with Cronulla coach Shane Flanagan last month and has been linked with several NRL sides for 2019.

The Wigan back-rower is considering a move to Australia and has a clause in his Super League contract allowing him to make the switch.

Whitehead, who played with Bateman at the Bradford Bulls, is confident the 24-year-old would adapt to the rigours of the NRL.

"John's a quality player and I know what he's capable of," he told The Sun.

"He can play a lot of positions and if he does come over here, he'll improve on his game again.

"If he does, hopefully he'll find the positions he wants to play instead of getting switched around and he'll do a good job."

Bateman played in the centres for England in the 2017 World Cup final against Australia.

Nominally a forward, he has scored 39 tries in 142 appearances in Super League.