North Wales Crusaders
|Full name||North Wales Crusaders Rugby League Football Club|
|Competition||Kingstone Press League 1 (from 2015)|
|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.
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.
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
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. A rival bid from Wrexham-based Glyndwr Chargers was withdrawn.
The club held open trials for any new players to attend.
North Wales Crusaders won their first game, a friendly, 34–12 away to Leigh East.
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".
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. Crowd trouble stopped the horse racing and in 1864 it became home to Wrexham Football Club with the club now owning the ground. 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.
* Announced on 12 February 2016:
|1||Tommy Johnson||Full Back||St Helens|
|2||Scott Turner||Winger||Barrow Raiders|
|3||Christiaan Roets||Centre||South Wales Scorpions|
|4||Earl Hurst||Centre||Wigan St Patricks|
|5||Rob Massam||Winger||Chester Gladiators|
|6||Ryan Smith||Stand Off||Rochdale Hornets|
|8||Jonny Walker (CC)||Prop||Leigh East|
|9||Karl Ashall||Hooker||Halifax RLFC|
|11||Alex Thompson||Second Row, Utility||Oxford Rugby League|
|12||Stephen Wild (C)||Second Row, Utility||Salford Red Devils|
|13||Luke Warburton||Loose Forward, Second Row||Leigh Centurions|
|14||Lee Hudson||Hooker||Widnes Vikings|
|15||Jack Hansen||Scrum Half||Leigh Centurions|
|17||Stuart Reardon||Centre||AS Carcassonne|
|18||Crusaders Fans||18th Man|
|20||Mark Hobson||Second Row||Oldham Roughyeds|
|21||Andrew Oakden||Wing||Chester Gladiators|
|25||Tommy Holland||Prop||Leigh Centurions|
|26||Adam Saunders||Centre, Winger||Salford Red Devils|
|27||Elliot Liku||Prop||Leigh Centurions|
|28||Andy Moulsdale||Stand Off||North Wales Crusaders|
|Player||Parent Club||Contract length||Date|
|Danny Jones||Rochdale Hornets||1 Year||October 2015|
|Mitchell Cox||Leigh Centurions||1 Year||October 2015|
|Luke Warburton||Leigh Centurions||1 Year||October 2015|
|Tommy Holland||Leigh Centurions||1 Year||October 2015|
|Earl Hurst||Wigan St Patricks||1 Year||November 2015|
|Ryan Smith||Rochdale Hornets||1 Year||November 2015|
|Danny Rasool||Salford Red Devils||1 Year||November 2015|
|Frank Halton||Leigh Centurions||1 Year Loan||November 2015|
|Adam Saunders||Salford Red Devils||1 Year||November 2015|
|Jack Hansen||Leigh Centurions||1 Year Loan||November 2015|
|Elliot Liku||Leigh Centurions||1 Year||December 2015|
|Andy Moulsdale||Unattached||1 Year||March 2016|
|Billy Brickhill||Salford Red Devils||1 Year||May 2016|
|Player||New Club||Contract Length||Date|
|Jono Smith||Rochdale Hornets||1 Year||October 2015|
|Matt Reid||Coventry Bears||1 Year||October 2015|
|Gary Middlehurst||Oldham Roughyeds||1 Year||February 2016|
|Joe Burke||Released||March 2016|
|Mitchell Cox||Released||March 2016|
|Jamie Dallimore||Released||March 2016|
|Ryan Duffy||Released||March 2016|
|Frankie Halton||Released||March 2016|
|Danny Jones||Released||March 2016|
|Danny Rasool||Released||March 2016|
|Name||Nat||Tenure||Matches Won||%||SL Won||%||Champ Won||%||Champ 1 Won||%||Chall. Cup Won||%||Champ. Cup Won||%|
|Clive Griffiths||November 2011 – June 2014||35/61||57||0/0||0||6/15||40||21/34||62||3/6||50||5/6||83|
|Anthony Murray||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.
- Championship 1: 1
- [dead link]
- "BBC Sport – New Crusaders side awarded Championship One place". BBC News. 11 November 2011. Retrieved 20 August 2012.
- "Official Crusaders RL web site". Crusadersrfl.com. 7 December 2011. Retrieved 20 August 2012.
- BBC News – Old Stadium Claims World Record Retrieved on 5 September 2010.
- Wrexham FC – The Racecourse Retrieved on 5 September 2010.
- Wales Directory – The Racecourse Retrieved on 5 September 2010.
- The Racecourse Wrexham – About Us Retrieved on 6 September 2010.
- "Official Crusaders RL web site". Crusadersrfl.com. 3 February 2012. Retrieved 20 August 2012.
- "Official Crusaders RL web site". Crusadersrfl.com. 20 February 2012. Retrieved 20 August 2012.
- "Official Crusaders RL web site". Crusadersrfl.com. Retrieved 20 August 2012.