There has been a recent influx of Australian-based players heading to the numerous English Championships and that has continued, with former Brisbane Broncos and Redcliffe Dolphins utility Pauly Ivan signing with the Coventry Bears.
Adept at back-row and centre, the 27-year old Dutch descendant has played over 100 games for the Dolphins in the Intrust Super Cup with Bears head coach Tom Tsang well aware of how crucial Ivan’s experience will be.
“Paul is a player we have been in contact with for a while now and we are overjoyed to have confirmed his signing.” said Tsang.
“We wanted to add a bit more size to our pack and at 6ft 5in and 17 Stone, Paul certainly fits that criteria. He is a big guy but from what we have seen also very mobile and skilful meaning he can play in the back-row as well as centre.
“He has spent time at some very prestigious organisations including NRL club Brisbane Broncos where he was very close to breaking into the NRL side. He has a heap of experience having played several seasons at Redcliffe Dolphins in the Queensland Intrust Super Cup.”
With Dutch heritage, the process to gain a UK work visa will be easier, as the club awaits the final approval.
“As Paul’s Grandparents are from Holland, he is eligible to apply for a Dutch passport and he is currently working through that process to allow him a work permit to play in the UK,” said Tsang.
“We canâ€™t wait for Paul to arrive and link up with the squad – he will be a big presence in all meanings of the word.”
Currently enjoying a stint with Limoux in the French Elite 1 competition, Ivan said he is looking forward to joining the Bears once his stint in France is over.
“I am excited about joining the Bears and being a part of the club’s historical first season,” said Ivan.
“I have seen that the league has been re-structured and it will be great to be part of a new era for Rugby League in the UK.”