Coventry Bears are proud to announce another host of signings, this time from the student game.

The Bears have great roots in Rugby League at University level with both management and coaching staff having a background in the sector. Many top players are being produced every year and the club sees the SRL as a relatively untapped player pool. The Midlands region alone has over a dozen Universities where players first find the game, with more and more each year excelling to an International student level. The club already operates a number of partnerships including Coventry University, Loughborough Students and the RFL’s Midlands Regional Academy. The signing of these players demonstrates the genuine player pathway for student players to professional Rugby League in League One.

Alex Calvert- Loughborough Students

Bears Head Coach Tom Tsang commented: “I know Alex will be a great signing for the Bears having coached him on and off over the last 3 years. He has developed into an extremely skillful forward who can play across the back-row and even as a Prop if required. He has great footwork and turn of speed for a big guy and I am looking forward to seeing how he can develop further in a semi-professional environment.”

Alex Calvert commented on his signing:

 “I’m extremely excited to sign for the Coventry Bears for the 2015 season and challenge myself against some top players, as well as play alongside many others. Having worked with Tom Tsang on numerous occasions before I know he is a great coach who will back me and help bring out the best in my game. I hope the coming season will be a huge success not just for me but also for everyone involved at the Bears.”

Chris Barratt- England, Great Britain Students & Coventry University

Bears Head Coach Tom Tsang commented:

“Chris is a former Salford Red Devils Academy back rower or centre, he is tough and hard working and we know he will step up to the challenge having coached him within our environment for the past two seasons. I have also coached Chris for England students where he was a standout player in both the Student World Cup and 4 nations. I am pleased to see that Chris has now taken advantage of our link with Coventry University and gained a scholarship which will see him stay in the student game while also being contracted with the Bears’.

Chris Barratt commented: ‘It means a lot to get a chance at a higher level and I am looking forward to the challenge having been with the club for a couple of seasons already’

Dylan Bale – Midlands Regional Academy & Coventry University

Bears Alan Robinson commented: ‘Dylan is an exciting young hooker or halfback and a real prospect. Both Tom Tsang and myself have spent some time at the Midlands Academy and Dylan was one of the players who really stood out for us. It was also exciting to find out that Dylan had aspirations to go to University to Study Sports Management and we have been able to help secure him a Sports Scholarship at Coventry University to study on one of the best courses in the country. I am looking forward to having him involved and seeing him develop as a player with the club’

Dylan commented on his signing: “With the links they have with Coventry University and the opportunities available to me, it was actually an easy decision to join The Coventry Bears. To be part of a team as they prepare for professional life in League One is an exciting opportunity not to be missed and I look forward to the challenge.”

Richard Hughes- England, Great Britain Students & Liverpool John Moores University

Tom Tsang commented: “Richie is a talented and technical hooker he is another player I have coached with England students through last years World Cup and I know he has recently stepped up into the Great Britain student set up with great success. He is also a product of the Widnes Vikings set up and will bring a level of professionalism to the environment we are building”.

Richie Hughes commented: “I am very excited to get involved with Coventry Bears at this level, I cant wait to relocate to Coventry and get stuck into preseason. Having seen the plans for next year and the players that the club is signing I think the future is looking bright for the Bears”.

Alan Robinson