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The Coventry Bears are a semi-professional Rugby League club based in Coventry, England, formed in 1998. Their major honours include winning the National League 3 title in 2004 (now called Rugby League Conference National Division) and the Rugby League Conference in 2002. They play at the Butts Park Arena, and have a selection of youth teams.
|Full name||Coventry Bears Rugby League Football Club|
|Chairman||Ireland Alan Robinson|
Coventry Bears were formed in 1998 by a group of university students led by Alan Robinson. They made an approach to Keith Fairbrother, the Coventry rugby union club's Chairman and one time rugby league player, with a plan to form a team to play from Coundon Road Stadium.
The club were admitted into the Rugby League Conference for the 2000 season and were unbeaten by any club within their division. They then won their quarter-final against Manchester Knights before being narrowly defeated by only one point in the semi-finals at Super League club Warrington Wolves’ Wilderspool Stadium. Further success followed in 2001 with the Bears reaching the Grand Final at Webb Ellis Road, Rugby, only to lose out by a very narrow margin in a match against Teesside Steelers. The following season Coventry won the Rugby League Conference Grand Final in September 2002 when they beat Hemel Stags at Cheltenham. Following on from this success the club applied for, and won, elevation to the newly formed National League Three.
The Bears reached the National League Three Grand Final in 2004, winning comfortably. The following season Coventry Bears RLFC experienced difficulties and chose to resign from the National League to take time to rebuild and regroup. 2006 saw the return of the Bears as a Rugby League Conference Midlands Premier side, and the club finished the season in second place. They went on to beat Leicester Phoenix in the qualifying semi-final to set up a Midlands Grand Final with Nottingham Outlaws, which ended in defeat.
Coventry defeated Nottingham Outlaws in 2007 to win the Midlands Premier and also won the Kilkenny 9s, The Bears went on to finish as runners-up to St Albans Centurions losing 28-20 in the final of the Harry Jepson Trophy. In 2008, the Bears finished as runners up in the Midlands Premier to Nottingham. In 2010, Coventry linked up with Super League side Wigan Warriors.
2015–present: League 1Edit
They were accepted into the semi-professional ranks of League 1 for the 2015 season, and entered their newly formed reserve side into the Conference League South in the same season. They finished their first semi-professional season in 12th place.
1998–2004: Coundon RoadEdit
The Bears moved into Coundon Road shortly after their formation in 1998. The ground had been owned and operated by sister rugby union club Coventry R.F.C. They stayed there for six years until the ground was sold and demolished in 2004. Both clubs moved out to the newly built Butts Park Arena at the other side of Coventry.
2004–present: Butts Park ArenaEdit
The stadium was built in 2004 and currently has one stand, the East Stand, which has a capacity of 3,000 and includes a number of conference and banqueting facilities. The West Stand which was a temporary structure holding 1,000 was removed at the end of the 2005–06 season on grounds of health and safety.
|Coventry Bears 2019 Squad|
|First team squad||Coaching staff|
Updated: 11 February 2018
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|Nathan Hill||N/A||N/A||November 2019|
|Brad Clavering||Hull Kingston Rovers||N/A||November 2019|
|Kieran Smith||Hull FC||n/a||November 2019|
|Ryan Langton||Hull FC||N/A||November 2019|
|Chris Cullimore||Keighley Cougars||N/A||November 2019|
|Tyler Chant||North Sydney Bears||N/A||November 2019|
|Alex Williams||Keighley Cougars||N/A||November 2019|
|Will Budd||London Broncos||N/A||November 2019|
|Fiach Millward||N/A||N/A||November 2019|
|Kieron Sherratt||North Wales Crusaders||n/a||October 2019|
|Chris Barratt||North Wales Crusaders||n/a||October 2019|
|Kameron Pearce-Paul||London Skolars||N/A||November 2019|
|Elliot Hall||Workington Town||2 years||November 2019|
Coventry Bears' junior teams take part in the Midlands Junior League.
- Winners (1): 2004
- RFL Midlands Division One:
- Winners (1): 2013
- RLC Midlands Premier:
- Winners (3): 2007, 2009, 2010
- RLC Midlands Division:
- Winners (2): 2001, 2002
- RLC Western Division:
- Winners (1): 2000
- Harry Jepson Trophy:
- Winners (1): 2002
- Midlands 9s:
- Winners (1): 2007, 2009, 2013
- Kilkenny 9s
- Winners (1): 2007
- RLC Women's Plate:
- Winners (1): 2010
- RLC Women's South Division:
- Winners (1): 2011
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 28 April 2012. Retrieved 22 April 2012.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "Coventry Bears: Rugby league side step up to Championship One". BBC Sport. Retrieved 18 January 2016.