My Wales days are over, says Bateman
May 29, 2000
Allan Bateman believes his Welsh days are over - but he will still be asking Northampton for a new contract next year.
The veteran international was at his usual cool best on Saturday as the Saints grabbed silverware for the first time in their history at Twickenham.
Bateman's best work was in defence as Northampton recorded a battling 9-8 win over Munster but just as skipper Pat Lam patrols the forwards, the former Richmond man keeps the backs in check.
But, at 35, an illustrious career is drawing to a close. Two more seasons should just about do it.
"I do not think I will be involved with Wales next year," said Bateman, who has a year on his current deal left to run. "It is not something I have been told, just a feeling. I will always be there for Wales should they need me. But Graham Henry will probably be building for the next World Cup and I doubt I will be there.
"But I have enjoyed this season more than for a long time and am looking forward to the summer break. If I am still in decent shape at Christmas, I will probably nip into the chairman's office to see if there is any chance of a one-year contract."
Ireland coach Joe Schmidt won the tactical battle and set his team on course for a shot at the Grand Slam. Tom Hamilton reports from Dublin
With the World Cup only a few months away, the last thing France needed was doubts over the future of their coach, writes Huw Richards
They came to Murrayfield looking to put down a marker, but Scotland were sent home with their tails between their legs, writes Tristan Barclay
The controversial tackling technique will be in full swing in Dublin on Sunday, writes Conor O'Shea, and could be a decisive factor for Ireland