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

Racecourse Ground[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 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 (Widnes)[8] and Eirias Park (Colwyn Bay).[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, near Ruabon.

2016 squad[edit]

* Announced on 12 February 2016:

2016 Squad Numbers

Number Country Player Position Former clubs
1 England Tommy Johnson Full Back St Helens
2 England Scott Turner Winger Barrow Raiders
3 Wales Christiaan Roets Centre South Wales Scorpions
4 England Earl Hurst Centre Wigan St Patricks
5 Wales Rob Massam Winger Chester Gladiators
6 England Ryan Smith Stand Off Rochdale Hornets
7
8 England Jonny Walker (CC) Prop Leigh East
9 England Karl Ashall Hooker Halifax RLFC
10
11 England Alex Thompson Second Row, Utility Oxford Rugby League
12 England Stephen Wild (C) Second Row, Utility Salford Red Devils
13 England Luke Warburton Loose Forward, Second Row Leigh Centurions
14 England Lee Hudson Hooker Widnes Vikings
15 England Jack Hansen Scrum Half Leigh Centurions
16
17 England Stuart Reardon Centre AS Carcassonne
18 England Crusaders Fans 18th Man
19
20 England Mark Hobson Second Row Oldham Roughyeds
21 England Andrew Oakden Wing Chester Gladiators
22
23
24
25 England Tommy Holland Prop Leigh Centurions
26 England Adam Saunders Centre, Winger Salford Red Devils
27 England Elliot Liku Prop Leigh Centurions
28 England Andy Moulsdale Stand Off North Wales Crusaders

2016 transfers[edit]

Gains

Player Parent Club Contract length Date
England Danny Jones Rochdale Hornets 1 Year October 2015
England Mitchell Cox Leigh Centurions 1 Year October 2015
England Luke Warburton Leigh Centurions 1 Year October 2015
England Tommy Holland Leigh Centurions 1 Year October 2015
England Earl Hurst Wigan St Patricks 1 Year November 2015
England Ryan Smith Rochdale Hornets 1 Year November 2015
England Danny Rasool Salford Red Devils 1 Year November 2015
England Frank Halton Leigh Centurions 1 Year Loan November 2015
England Adam Saunders Salford Red Devils 1 Year November 2015
England Jack Hansen Leigh Centurions 1 Year Loan November 2015
England Elliot Liku Leigh Centurions 1 Year December 2015
England Andy Moulsdale Unattached 1 Year March 2016
England Billy Brickhill Salford Red Devils 1 Year May 2016

Losses

Player New Club Contract Length Date
England Jono Smith Rochdale Hornets 1 Year October 2015
England Matt Reid Coventry Bears 1 Year October 2015
England Gary Middlehurst Oldham Roughyeds 1 Year February 2016
England Joe Burke Released March 2016
England Mitchell Cox Released March 2016
England Jamie Dallimore Released March 2016
England Ryan Duffy Released March 2016
England Frankie Halton Released March 2016
England Danny Jones Released March 2016
England Danny Rasool Released March 2016

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 12/26 46 0/0 0 1/11 9 5/8 63 2/3 67 4/4 100

Updated 11 June 2015.[10]

Honours[edit]

Leagues

Cups

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]