COVENTRY Bears have signed free agent and stand-off Dean Hatton and prop Malhiki Lloyd Jones from the Gloucestershire All Golds.
On his new players head coach Tom Tsang said: “Dean first popped up on our radar this Summer when we were alerted that he was considering a move to the Midlands from his hometown Wigan due to his wife being a born and bred Coventrian.
“The relocation was delayed, but we stayed in contact with Dean and on hearing that he had now moved down to the area, we invited him to our trial day in October. In the trials, Dean showed his years of experience.
“At 29, Dean will be one of the older members of our squad and his experience playing in the tough NCL competition, as well as in professional environments at Leigh Centurions and Rochdale Hornets will definitely add value to our squad.
“As a confident halfback or hooker, Dean brings much needed depth to two key positions and he will provide stiff competition for places. I have no doubt that with a good pre-season and chance to bond with his new teammates, Dean will be a great addition and give me many headaches for selection come the start of the season.
“I am very pleased to have secured Malikhi’s services for the 2018 season, he is a big, physical front rower with good experience at League One level with 40 appearances over 3 seasons for Hemel Stags and more recently Gloucestershire All Golds, as well as being a regular in the England Student Rugby League side over the last few seasons.
“Most of his appearances have come off the bench where he has developed a reputation as a big impact player due to his aggressive style of play and athleticism for a big man. I went back and watched a number of his games from last year and he was consistently one of Gloucester’s most impressive players. He has also played against the Bears a number of times and has always been a handful for us.”
On signing for the club, the current world record holder for fastest try (7.3 seconds), said: “I am delighted to have signed a contract with Coventry for the 2018 season having recently moved down to the area from Wigan. I am looking forward to the challenge and testing myself once again at a professional level.”
Lloyd-Jones commented on his arrival at the club: “I feel that I probably had my best season of rugby last year and I believe signing at Coventry will allow me to build on that. They have a really good setup and I am looking forward to getting stuck in with the new squad.”