British internationals David Phillips and Matty Davies have become the first two signings for the Elite League's newest club, Manchester Storm.

The pair had originally signed for Hull Stingrays - who had to drop out of the EIHL this week - but 27-year-old defenceman Phillips and 25-year-old forward Davies will now take their place on the Storm roster for the 2015-16 season.

Mark Johnson, director of the Storm, said: “David and Matty are two fantastic players to have as the first names on the roster for the upcoming season.

"They are two quality British players who not only have fantastic Elite League experience, but experience for Great Britain at international level. They both play with passion and come to win.

“We want them to be the cornerstone of the franchise and they are going to play big parts on and off the ice next season and in the future.

"We are delighted they have committed to the Storm and it’s a very positive beginning in our recruitment process.

“It has been a crazy few days but very exciting and we are so happy to be part of it all again.

“Having our group director of hockey and GB head coach Pete Russell advising us is massive.

“He is helping create a core of players to build upon and is starting to implement a structure for our new coach to work with, when he is confirmed."

Hull-born defenceman Phillips, 27, who has 54 international caps for GB, began his professional career with the Stingrays.

He signed for Belfast Giants in 2008-09 and won the Challenge Cup and British Knockout Cup in his first season in Northern Ireland.

Phillips then spent two years in North America playing in the ECHL and the American Hockey League, one step below the NHL.

He returned to the UK in 2011 and spent a year with Coventry Blaze, before ending that season with SønderjyskE of Denmark.

The d-man then made the move back to Belfast where he went on to win the Elite League title in 2013-14.

Phillips said: "I am excited by this opportunity to play for the newest Elite League team.

"Manchester Storm is a name steeped in hockey history in this country and I am thrilled to be part of this new era.

"It is really sad what happened with the Stingrays as they hold a special place in my heart, but this is a great opportunity for me with Manchester.

“I would like to thank Mark Johnson for giving me the opportunity - and for being very helping and professional in everything after I was in a difficult position early on in the week.”

Davies spent the early part of his career in Swindon and Solihull in the EPL, before joining his hometown club in 2009-10.

The forward has since scored nearly 200 points, with his breakthrough season coming in 2013-14 where he scored at over a point per game.

He made his World Championship debut for Great Britain the following April in their Division 1B campaign in Lithuania, winning five caps.

Davies was appointed Hull captain last season but sadly missed the latter part of the campaign through injury, which also meant he missed GB's World Championship trip to Eindhoven.

He said: "This is a fantastic new challenge for me to play for the Manchester Storm.

"I am obviously very saddened by what has happened to my hometown club, but this is now a great opportunity as a brand-new team.

"It is exciting to be part of something new but at the same time be involved in a name which has great hockey tradition in the UK.

"In no way is this team replacing the Hull Stingrays and I want to give thanks to my club for giving me the chance to play in the top league.

"For me, it's a brand new team and one which I am extremely happy and excited to get started with.

“It’s the first time I will play in the Elite League for another team and it’s exciting to be playing for for such a great organisation with their history.

“It will be a great opportunity to grow the club again. Thanks to Mark for taking the step to get the club back to the Elite League and making me and Dave the first signings.”

Manchester Storm will play friendlies against Nottingham Panthers on Saturday 29th August and Sheffield Steelers on Wednesday 2nd September, ahead of their opening games in the Elite League.

The new Elite League fixtures will be announced on Monday 13th July.