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
Colours NWCrucolours.png
Founded 2011
Current details
Chairman Ian Edwards
Coach Mike Grady
Manager Bob Wilson
Captain Lee Hudson
Competition Kingstone Press League 1 (from 2015)
2014 Championship 11th
Rugby football current event.png Current season
Northern Rail Bowl 1 (2013)
Championship 1 1 (2013)
Most capped 69 - Tommy Johnson
Highest points scorer 514 - Tommy Johnson

North Wales Crusaders R.L.F.C. (Welsh: Croesgadwyr Gogledd Cymru Rygbi'r Gynghrair) is a professional rugby league club based in Wrexham, Wales. They are the successors to the former Super League club Crusaders Rugby League. Crusaders compete in Kingstone Press League 1, the third tier of European rugby league (behind the Super League and Kingstone Press Championship). Until the end of 2016 they played their home games at the Racecourse Ground in Wrexham. From 2017 they are based at the Queensway Stadium (also in Wrexham) but will also play several games at Hare Lane in Chester.[1]


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.[2][3] A rival bid from Wrexham-based Glyndwr Chargers was withdrawn.

The club held open trials for any new players to attend.[4]

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


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".


Racecourse Ground stadium, Wrexham

Racecourse Ground[edit]

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.[5] Crowd trouble stopped the horse racing and in 1864 it became home to Wrexham Football Club with the club now owning the ground.[6][7][8] 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)[9] and Eirias Park (Colwyn Bay).[10]

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.

As of the 2017 season, the club is based at the Queensway Stadium in Wrexham. It consists of two small all-seater stands on one side overlooking a rugby pitch and a running track with floodlights.

2017 squad[edit]

North Wales Crusaders 2017 Squad
First team squad Coaching staff

Head coach

Assistant coach

  • (c) Captain
  • (vc) Vice captain

Updated: 5 February 2017
Source(s): 2017 Squad Numbers

2017 transfers[edit]


Player Club Contract length Date
England Stephen Bannister London Skolars 1 Year October 2016
England Dan Price Coventry Bears 1 Year October 2016
England Andy Unsworth Coventry Bears 1 Year October 2016
England Dean Thompson Unattached 1 Year October 2016
England Greg Wilde Unattached 1 Year October 2016
England John Cookson Rochdale Mayfield 1 Year October 2016
England James Dandy Rochdale Hornets 1 Year October 2016
Wales Dale Bloomfield Rochdale Hornets 1 Year November 2016
England Cory Lee Rochdale Hornets 1 Year November 2016
England Alex Davidson Gloucestershire All Golds 1 Year November 2016
England Jack Houghton Widnes Vikings 1 Year November 2016
England Aaron Moore Salford Red Devils 1 Year December 2016
Ireland Calum Mulkeen Tumut Blues 1 Year January 2017
England Warren Thompson Rochdale Hornets 1 Year February 2017


Player Club Contract length Date
Wales Rob Massam Rochdale Hornets 2 Years October 2016
England Tommy Holland Whitehaven 1 Year October 2016
England Billy Brickhill Gloucestershire All Golds 1 Year October 2016
England Greg Wilde Work Commitments 1 Year November 2016


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 – September 2016 12/26 46 0/0 0 1/11 9 5/8 63 2/3 67 4/4 100
Mike Grady England October 2016 – Present

Updated 11 June 2015.[11]




  1. ^ "CHESTER RUFC TO HOST CRUSADERS MATCHES THIS SUMMER". North Wales Crusaders. Retrieved 19 April 2017. 
  2. ^ [1][dead link]
  3. ^ "BBC Sport – New Crusaders side awarded Championship One place". BBC News. 11 November 2011. Retrieved 20 August 2012. 
  4. ^ "Official Crusaders RL web site". 7 December 2011. Retrieved 20 August 2012. 
  5. ^ BBC News – Old Stadium Claims World Record Retrieved on 5 September 2010.
  6. ^ Wrexham FC – The Racecourse Retrieved on 5 September 2010.
  7. ^ Wales Directory – The Racecourse Retrieved on 5 September 2010.
  8. ^ The Racecourse Wrexham – About Us Retrieved on 6 September 2010.
  9. ^ "Official Crusaders RL web site". 3 February 2012. Retrieved 20 August 2012. 
  10. ^ "Official Crusaders RL web site". 20 February 2012. Retrieved 20 August 2012. 
  11. ^ "Official Crusaders RL web site". Retrieved 20 August 2012. 

External links[edit]