Bateman opts for club over country
January 12, 2000

Wales veteran Allan Bateman has turned his back on a his country, opting to play for Northampton in the Tetley's Bitter Cup rather than attend a national team practice.

He has said that he will play for the club rather than Wales if he is selected for both. "As far as I am concerned," Bateman said, "if selected for Northampton that Saturday, I will play for Northampton,"

"I am still keen to play for Wales and I know not playing in the trials won't help me, but Northampton is where my future is at the moment.

"I am in the situation at the moment where the people who play in the same position as me in Wales are playing well. If Wales were not so strong in that position then perhaps they would need me more.

"Its all dependent on how the selectors and coaches feel. But I am playing at as high a level now as I have for the last four or five years."

Northampton spokesman Tom Sears commented, "What on earth has someone like Allan Bateman got to prove in a trial," he said. He is 34 years old and an established international, we are quite sure Mr Henry has seen enough of him by now without putting him in a trial.

"Surely his club form this season says it all. We have requested that Allan be made available to us and we are waiting to hear from him."

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