CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA - JULY 14: Luke Bateman of the Raiders is tackled during the round 19 NRL match between the Canberra Raiders and the St George Illawarra Dragons at GIO Stadium on July 14, 2017 in Canberra, Australia. (Photo by Mark Nolan/Getty Images)

Canberra Raiders forward Luke Bateman will depart the Raiders effective immediately, after deciding to take some time away from the game.

Bateman said there were several factors which led him to this decision but did not rule out a return to the game in some capacity in the future.

“It’s been a frustrating period for me with injury and with my contract up at the end of the season and uncertainty about what my future may look like, I’ve decided to finish up with the Raiders and head home and work for a while and get away from footy for a bit,” he said on the club website.

“I’m not retiring from the game and I hope to play again in the future, but at the moment this is the best decision for me.”

Raiders head coach Ricky Stuart said Bateman would always be a Raider.

“Luke has been a tremendous servant for the club and always gave his best when he was selected to play for the Raiders,” Stuart said.

“To play 70 first grade games is a wonderful achievement and Luke will always be a Raider and respected for his achievements.”

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