North Wales Crusaders

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North Wales Crusaders
North Wales Crusaders logo.png
Club information
Full name North Wales Crusaders Rugby League Football Club
Short name Crusaders
Website www.crusadersrfl.com
Colours NWCrucolours.png
Founded 2011
Current details
Ground(s)
CEO(s) Jamie Thomas
Coach(s) Anthony Murray
Captain(s) Andy Moulsdale
Competition Kingstone Press League 1 (from 2015)
2014 Championship 11th
Rugby football current event.png Current season
Records
Northern Rail Bowl 1 (2013)
Championship 1 1 (2013)
Most capped 69 - Tommy Johnson
Most points 514 - Tommy Johnson

North Wales Crusaders (Welsh: Croesgadwyr Gogledd Cymru Rygbi'r Gynghrair) are a professional rugby league club based in Wrexham, Wales. They are the successors to the former Super League club Crusaders Rugby League. From 2015, North Wales Crusaders will compete in the re-structured Kingstone Press League 1, the third tier of European rugby league (behind the Super League and Kingstone Press Championship). They play their home games at the Racecourse Ground.

History[edit]

See also: Crusaders RL

Celtic Warriors[edit]

In the summer of 2003, the WRU voted to reduce the top tier of Welsh professional rugby union from nine clubs into five regions. The Celtic Warriors officially represented the Mid-Glamorgan Valleys area, which in practice meant that they were a combination of Pontypridd RFC and Bridgend RFC.

Financial problems at Pontypridd RFC led to the sale of their half of the Warriors to Bridgend RFC owner Leighton Samuel, which he gifted to the WRU. He then later sold his half to the WRU who in the summer of 2004 decided to liquidate the club.

Celtic Crusaders[edit]

Leighton Samuel was approached by the RFL to form a rugby league club and join the professional ranks. The new Celtic Crusaders were argued to be a continuation of the old Celtic Warriors side and were based at Bridgend's Brewery Field.

In 2009, the team were awarded a Super League licence and played one season in Super League before financial problems saw the club renamed Crusaders Rugby League and moved to Wrexham. The club created an academy side for players based in North Wales known as North Wales Crusaders. After two seasons at Wrexham, the club pulled out from bidding for a 2012 Super League licence.

North Wales Crusaders[edit]

The club was founded in 2011 following the folding of Crusaders Rugby League. They officially joined Championship 1, the third tier of rugby league in the United Kingdom, on 11 October 2011. Their name, which continues the Crusaders branding, was selected in a fan contest.[1][2] A rival bid from Wrexham-based Glyndwr Chargers was withdrawn.

The club held open trials for any new players to attend.[3]

North Wales Crusaders won their first game, a friendly, 34–12 away to Leigh East.

Symbols[edit]

First logo used by the North Wales Crusaders

The club have revealed a logo ready for use in the 2012 season which an evolution of the 2011 logo. The badge, inspired by the Prince of Wales's feathers, has three white feathers adorning the centre of a disc with the Flag of St David on. To the left and right of the feathers, the words "North" and "Wales" appear on the disc as opposed to "Rugby" and "League" on the old logo. Beneath the feathers remains "Crusaders".

Stadiums[edit]

The Racecourse Ground Stadium, Wrexham

The Racecourse[edit]

Main article: Racecourse Ground

The Racecourse Ground is located in Wrexham in North Wales and is the official home of the Crusaders and where most matches are played. The club moved to the ground in 2010, in time for the start of the Super League XV season. The first Crusaders match ever played there was against Leeds Rhinos on 29 January 2010, and that match is also the highest attendance for a Crusaders match played in Wrexham. With a capacity of 15,500 it is the largest ground in North Wales, the fifth largest in the whole of Wales, and the seventh largest in Super League. It was first built in 1807 and first played host to Wrexham's "Town Purse" horse race.[4] Crowd trouble stopped the horse racing and in 1864 it became home to Wrexham Football Club with the club now owning the ground.[5][6][7] The Wales national rugby league team have played there. The ground has four stands: The Mold Road Stand, The Eric Roberts Stand, The Kop and The Yale.


During pre-season of the 2012 campaign. North Wales Crusaders played 'Home' games at both Halton Stadium[8] and Eirias Park.[9]


Whilst resurfacing work was taking place at the Racecourse Ground in 2014, North Wales Crusaders took their home games to 'The Rock' in Rhosymedre, Wrexham.

2015 squad[edit]

* As of 7 November 2014:

2014 Squad Numbers

Number Country Player Position Former clubs
1 England Tommy Johnson Full Back
2 England Dan Birkett Wing
3 Wales Christiaan Roets Centre
4
5 Wales Rob Massam Wing
6 England Andy Moulsdale (C) Stand Off
7 England Jamie Dallimore Scrum Half Oldham Roughyeds
8 England Jonny Walker Prop
9 England Craig Ashall Hooker Halifax RLFC
10
11
12 England Gary Middlehurst Second Row
13 Australia Jono Smith (C) Loose Forward
14 England Stephen Wild Second Row Salford Red Devils
15 Wales David Mills Prop
16
17 England Stuart Reardon Wing, Utility AS Carcassonne
18 England Crusaders Supporters 18th Man North Wales Crusaders
19 England Karl Ashall Loose Forward Halifax RLFC
20 Wales Jamie Durbin Half Back Leigh Centurions
21 England Simon Stephens Prop, Utility
22 England Adam Clay Wing Barrow Raiders
23 England Greg Wilde Full Back, Wing
24 England Lee Hudson Hooker
25 England Owain Griffiths Loose Forward, Hooker
26 England Matt Reid Centre, Second Row
27 England Jamie Clark Second Row
28 England Craig White Half Back, Full Back
29

2015 transfers[edit]

Gains[edit]

Player Parent Club Contract length Date
England Alex Thompson Oxford Rugby League 2 Years September 2014
Wales Joe Burke Barrow Raiders 2 Years September 2014
England Leon Brennan Sarina Crocodiles 1 Year September 2014
England Ian Mort Barrow Raiders 1 Year September 2014
England Ryan Duffy Leigh Centurions 1 Year September 2014
England Elliott Davies Wigan Warriors 1 Year September 2014
England Callum Wright Warwick Cowboys 2 Years September 2014
England Mark Hobson Oldham Roughyeds 1 Year November 2014
England Andy Joy Oldham Roughyeds 2 Years November 2014
England Alex Davidson Salford Red Devils 2 Years November 2014

Losses[edit]

Player New Club Contract Length Date
Wales Owain Brown Retired N/A May 2014
Republic of Ireland Michael Platt Leigh Centurions 2 ½ Years June 2014
United States Mark Offerdahl Australia 1 Year October 2014
England Toby Adamson Dewsbury Rams 2 Years October 2014
England Stephen Bannister Whitehaven RLFC 1 Year October 2014
England Billy Sheen Coventry Bears 1 Year November 2014

† = Mark Offerdahl originally signed a contract for Bradford Bulls but due to injury problems pulled out of the move. May arrive at Bradford in the future.

Coaches[edit]

Name Nat Tenure Matches Won % SL Won % Champ Won % Champ 1 Won % Chall. Cup Won % Champ. Cup Won %
Clive Griffiths Wales November 2011 – June 2014 35/61 57 0/0 0 6/15 40 21/34 62 3/6 50 5/6 83
Anthony Murray England June 2014 – Present 0/2 0 0/0 0 0/2 0 0/0 0 0/0 0 0/0 0

Updated 1 July 2014.[10]

Honours[edit]

Statistics[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ [1][dead link]
  2. ^ "BBC Sport – New Crusaders side awarded Championship One place". BBC News. 11 November 2011. Retrieved 20 August 2012. 
  3. ^ "Official Crusaders RL web site". Crusadersrfl.com. 7 December 2011. Retrieved 20 August 2012. 
  4. ^ BBC News – Old Stadium Claims World Record Retrieved on 5 September 2010.
  5. ^ Wrexham FC – The Racecourse Retrieved on 5 September 2010.
  6. ^ Wales Directory – The Racecourse Retrieved on 5 September 2010.
  7. ^ The Racecourse Wrexham – About Us Retrieved on 6 September 2010.
  8. ^ "Official Crusaders RL web site". Crusadersrfl.com. 3 February 2012. Retrieved 20 August 2012. 
  9. ^ "Official Crusaders RL web site". Crusadersrfl.com. 20 February 2012. Retrieved 20 August 2012. 
  10. ^ "Official Crusaders RL web site". Crusadersrfl.com. Retrieved 20 August 2012. 

External links[edit]