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Wales RL World Cup 2013/General News

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Harris was left rueing missed opportunities after his side’s 24-16 defeat to the USA at the Glyndwr University Racecourse Stadium.

 

The Dragons’ second defeat of RLWC2013, infront of a bumper crowd of 8,019, means that they can no longer qualifty for the knock-out stages of the tournament, which left Harris “bitterly disappointed” after the game.

 

“We probably had 20-25 opportunities in the game to score points”, he said. “We took a lot of the wrong options; our decision making wasn’t on this afternoon.

 

“We haven’t used the best of what we’ve got, and we talked about that at the start of the tournament. We haven’t got the group of players to be playing at 50 or 60 percent and expect to win games.

 

“When we sit down and look at that game, we’ll see that there’s a lot of missed opportunities to score points – and that’s very frustrating for the coaches and staff knowing that you’re so close.

 

“But you take that end of the game away and we didn’t deserve to win today.

 

“The USA were dogged and stayed with us, and it was up to us to put that game to bed. We weren’t capable of doing that.

 

“We were nowhere near where we needed to be and you’ve got to give a bit of credit to the USA for what have been two great reslts in the tournament so far.”

 

Despite the disappointing result, Harris was delighted with the support his side received in Wrexham.

 

“It’s a huge positive for the game in Wales to have that number of people turn up and support us”, he said.

 

“We’re a growing nation and it’s important that we continue to grow as a nation and produce players through our systems.

 

“It’s a difficult time for everyone involved [after losing the game] but, in the next seven days, we’ve got to show our professionalism and do a professional job.

 

“Players will look back on this World Cup – whether that’s in a years or 20 years time – and it’s really important that we conduct ourselves in the right way in the next seven days [before the Cook Islands game].”

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North Wales Crusaders have signed winger Adam Clay from Barrow.

Clay, 23, previously played for Crusaders in 2012, on loan from Leigh, and scored 12 tries in 27 appearances for Barrow in 2013.

Coach Clive Griffiths said: “Adam is an out and out finisher and he certainly showed he pedigree when he was here on loan last year from Leigh Centurions. I had hoped we could secure his services for 2013, but when Barrow came in with the opportunity to play in the division above, I couldn’t really blame a player of his talents for wanting to be at the highest level he can get to.”

“With our promotion this season, it gave us the opportunity to offer Adam that level of Rugby and I’m delighted that he wanted to come, having enjoyed his spell so much in 2012. He’s an important capture as we build for life in the Championship.”

Clay previously came through the academy system at Salford.

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Former Celtic Crusaders star Neil Budworth will bow out of international Rugby League following Wales’ last match of Rugby League World Cup 2013 this Sunday when the Cook Islands are the visitors to The Gnoll in Neath (2.00pm).

The 31-year old hooker, who played 83 times for the then Bridgend-based club, including 27 appearances in Super League, has enjoyed his time with Wales and wants to go out on a high by helping his side to a win.

“It’s really good to be back in Wales again,” he said. “I’ve enjoyed coming back to play for Wales over the last five years, it’s been the pinnacle of my career.

“But this is my last year with the side. I’m going to retire from the international game after this and spend a bit of time with my partner in Australia.”

Hailing from Wigan, Budworth played for five years in Super League with London Broncos before moving to Wales and his three years with Celtic Crusaders allowed him to qualify for Wales under the residency rule.

He made his Wales debut against England in 2009 and has won 15 caps since then, helping Wales to win the European Cup in 2009 and 2010 on the way.

Moving to Australia in 2010, he signed for Queensland Cup side Mackay Cutters before joining local league side Moranbah Miners who are coached by his former Crusaders team-mate Josh Hannay.

“Moranbah also offered me a job away from Rugby League to go alongside me playing so I’ve gone down that route now,” he said. “I’m getting on a bit, I’m almost 32 so I wanted to look after my career outside of Rugby League.

“I was pleased to link up again with Josh Hannay as he’s a good friend of mine. He helped me to get to the club and helped me get a career outside of rugby too so I’m grateful to him for that. It’s been a good year and I’ve enjoyed playing for Moranbah, they’re a great bunch of guys.

“I had three good years in South Wales playing for Celtic Crusaders and I’d like to thank everyone for their support from when I moved to Wales in 2007 right up until now. I’ve made a lot of friends in the area over the years and I hope to see many of them on Sunday when Wales take on Cook Islands in Neath.

"It’ll be nice to see a big crowd there with a lot of familiar faces and hopefully I can leave with a win.”

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Wales captain Craig Kopczak has said that his side want to finish their Rugby League World Cup 2013 campaign with a win when they take on Cook Islands at The Gnoll in Neath this Sunday (kick-off 2pm).

 

Both sides are now unable to qualify for the quarter-finals of the tournament but Kopczak says that won’t phase either side as there is pride at stake.

 

“We want to win,” Kopczak said. “And I’m sure Cook Islands will be feeling the same too. We want to finish this competition on a high, go out there with a clear intention to finish with a win and finish second in the group.

 

“I do encourage those who haven’t got tickets yet to buy now and come down and watch us play. We play some really good Rugby League and we want to show the South Wales public what we can do. Cook Islands are in the same position as us now so I think we see a game full of skills that will show the public how good Rugby League can be.

 

“Last week was a really tough physical game. It was an arm wrestle until half-time but a few things didn’t go our way in the second half so we’ve got to put all of that right for the Cook Islands game.

 

“I was pleased by the way that we stuck in there at the end of last week’s game, we just need to show that for the entire 80 minutes this week.”

 

Kopczak says that the team were delighted with the 8,000 plus crowd at Wrexham last Sunday who didn’t stop cheering Wales on, and he hopes for a similar atmosphere in Neath this Sunday.

 

“It was really good how the crowd in Wrexham stuck by us and created a good atmosphere,” he said. “They were cheering us on and shouting ‘Wales’ the whole time. Hopefully we’ll have the same kind of atmosphere in Neath this Sunday.”

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Heard again today off 2 separate people that the South Wales Scorpions are highly unlikely to be playing next season, does anyone know anything?

Massive step backwards if true

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Heard again today off 2 separate people that the South Wales Scorpions are highly unlikely to be playing next season, does anyone know anything?

Massive step backwards if true

Wouldn't surprise me. Rumours have been circulating for months now.

On the back of a disastrous World Cup this would be a nightmare scenario.

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To quote an official 'by hook or by crook there will be a S Wales Scorpions in some form in 2014'.

Can't shed anymore light on it than that at the minute, other than two investors are interested but as yet have to meet with the current owner.

The delays/silence are unfortunately Broncoesque....

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To quote an official 'by hook or by crook there will be a S Wales Scorpions in some form in 2014'.

Can't shed anymore light on it than that at the minute, other than two investors are interested but as yet have to meet with the current owner.

The delays/silence are unfortunately Broncoesque....

Here's hoping! Despite the small stature of the club they hold a vitally important position in the make up of Welsh rugby league.

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Too right.

There is another option that again I cannot at present divulge publicly until the current owner makes their decision but amongst people I have spoken with it makes perfect sense and provides a strong medium-long term future.

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Too right.

There is another option that again I cannot at present divulge publicly until the current owner makes their decision but amongst people I have spoken with it makes perfect sense and provides a strong medium-long term future.

A Super League chairman ready to invest?

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Former Scorpions star Christiaan Roets is calling on the people of Neath to turn up in their droves to support Wales when they visit The Gnoll to take on the Cook Islands on Sunday in Rugby League World Cup 2013 (kick-off 2pm).

 

The Crusaders centre had a two-year spell with the Scorpions before moving north, and he is hoping that the South Wales faithful will cheer on their national side as they look to leave the tournament on a high.

 

“It’s really important for Wales to finish on a win and hopefully the people of south Wales will help us to do that”, he said. “We’ve all worked really hard for this tournament – but it hasn’t paid off so far as it should have.

 

“Our preparation has always been great but the execution has really let us down so far, and that’s a bit disappointing. It would be great to finish our group game on a high.”

 

Like all of the RLWC2013 fixtures so far, Wales’ clash with the USA last weekend in Wrexham was well attended, and Roets certainly delivered on his World Cup debut with his two tries and all-round impressive display.

 

However, the 26-18 loss wasn’t what the centre had hoped for and he is looking for improvements this weekend. 

 

“It was an awesome crowd in Wrexham – there was a great turnout and support during the game”, he added.

 

“I’m glad about the two tries I scored, it’s an honour to score tries for your country. But it was a disappointing result. We tried to come back but it was just far too late.

 

“They were a very physical side. They ran hard, were very physical in defence and were really up and focused for the game. We’ll go back to the drawing board, look at what went wrong and then fix it for the Cook Islands game.

 

“I’m pleased that we have had games at Wrexham and now in Neath. South Wales Scorpions was where I started as a professional Rugby League player so I’m looking forward to going back there and being in the home changing room once again.”

 

The main stand is sold out for Wales v Cook Islands at The Gnoll in Neath this Sunday but there are limited tickets available for the Family Stand and for the terracing. Go to www.rlwc2013.com to buy. Prices are £10 for adults and £5 for concessions.

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Following a hugely successful season in 2013, North Wales Crusaders are delighted to announce they have secured significant sponsorship deals to help them push on into the Championship next year.

Long term partners Glyndwr University, DAG Engineering, Novus Property Solutions, Wrexham Lager and The Leader have all committed to increased investment and activity for the forthcoming season, re-affirming their commitment to the club.

Crusaders Head of Commercial Hanna Clarke commented “After such as successful 2013, we were hopeful this would lead to an increase in support, but the enthusiasm of our long standing partners has been fantastic.”

“We have already made significant inroads into our 2014 targets and we haven’t even reached the turn of the year, so things are looking really bright. As a club we’re making more and more strides forward, with a really active community department as well as the great performances we’ve seen on the pitch.”

Glyndwr University will continue their front of shirt sponsorship for the 2014 season, with established partners The Leader, Wrexham Lager and Novus Property Solutions also taking space on the shirt.

Jeremy Anderson the Operations Manager at Novus commented: “As a massive Rugby fan myself I am very proud that Novus are sponsoring the Crusaders, but this is about more than sponsorship for us. Our aim is to build a strong partnership and support the Crusaders with their community programme to provide sports opportunities throughout North Wales. At Novus we are involved in building stronger communities through a range of property refurbishment and building maintenance services that we provide, but we also know leading healthy lives and sport play a big part in building stronger communities, which is why we feel this partnership is going to be a great success.”

Steve Colclough the Strategic Operations Manager for Novus commented: “We’re committed to the area for the long term which is why we invest in the communities we work in. We are proud to be sponsoring the North Wales Crusaders Rugby Club as we believe sport plays a big part in building stronger communities. We hope through this partnership we can play our part in providing sports opportunities across North Wales.”

Mark Roberts of Wrexham Lager commented “After a fantastic 2013, we’re delighted to be on board again for 2014. They’ve put some great performances together on the pitch and given everyone something to celebrate, hopefully that’ll continue.”

Design and General Engineering have also continued for a further year with an increased level of support. Managing Director David Anderson said “It’s a pleasure to be part of something special, North Wales Crusaders have grown from strength to strength. We’re proud to be associated with the club and in particular the sponsorship of Stuart Reardon. His dedication and commitment to his profession runs parallel with ours.”

Chief Executive of North Wales Crusaders Jamie Thomas said “The support we receive from our commercial partners is critical and we are delighted to have them on board for 2014 – which is going to be a massive year for the club.”

“Hanna has done a fantastic job showcasing North Wales Crusaders to the business community and we look forward to working with many more companies for the coming year.”

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HARRIS REJECTS ROLE AT CARDIFF BLUES

 

Iestyn Harris has decided not to return to Cardiff Arms Park to take up the vacant backs coach role.

Harris, currently steering Wales through the Rugby League World Cup - they are already out of contention to progress in the tournament - will be remaining in his assistant’s job with Wigan.

It’s believed Harris was offered the chance to go back to the outfit with whom he spent a brief spell as a player between 2002 and 2004, but has opted to stay in league.

It means the Blues are still trying to fill the space that will be left by Gareth Baber when he departs for a job in Hong Kong at the end of the year.

Another ex-dual code star, Henry Paul, was understood to be a contender as was former employee, the Australian Billy Millard.

Mark Ring, who is currently working on a part-time basis with the Blues backs, has been interviewed for the full-time opportunity.

Harris, the former Leeds and Bradford captain, who has also fielded interest from other Super League clubs, is highly regarded at Wigan, where he recently extended his contract until the end of 2015.

Harris will be back in south Wales on Sunday when Wales play their final group match of the World Cup against the Cook Islands in Neath.

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I hope this doesn't mean, Wales will keep him.

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A message from Jordan James

 

"Thanks everyone for your kind words. I could not have done everything in my rugby career without all of you playing a part somehow whether playing with me, against me or looking after me with coaching, physio or admin wise. I owe you all a great debt for helping me on my way.

 

"I have been thinking this week about my international retirement and after speaking to Iestyn and and a few players, I'm not going to announce my retirement yet. I'm going to see how the year goes with my new job and the All golds and then make the call sometime next year.

 

"If Wales comes calling for me then it's very hard to turn them down, it will all depend on the body I guess, that call will be made next year. Thanks again for the words but in the words of Lee Briers 'you're a long time retired!'. So let's see what happens." 

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Limited amount of discounted Rugby League World Cup 2013 tickets available

A limited number of discounted top-price level tickets for Wrexham’s Rugby League World Cup 2013 Quarter Final have been made available.

Wrexham Council will be selling the tickets at a £10 discount at Queensway Stadium.

The Glyndwr University Racecourse Stadium will play host to the Quarter Final, which will see the tournament’s surprise package USA take on the might of nine-times World Cup winners Australia on Saturday November 16 (KO 1PM)

Top price tickets for the Quarter Final will be available at £30, instead of the usual price of £40.

Tickets are available of a first come, first served basis in person or by calling Queensway Stadium on 01978 355826.

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North Wales Crusaders have added to their squad with the capture of former Irish international Michael Platt from Super League outfit Bradford Bulls. Platt will link up with former team-mate Stuart Reardon, who he played alongside at the Bulls, and is the fourth new member of the 2014 squad alongside the Ashall brothers and Adam Clay. The 29-year-old was influential for Bradford in his six years with the club, after the making the switch across Yorkshire following a spell with Castleford Tigers. He also played for Rochdale Hornets and Salford City Reds in his earlier playing days and featured for Ireland in the 2008 Rugby League World Cup down under. Head coach Clive Griffiths said: “It’s a tremendous capture for us to add to the players that we’ve brought in over the last year or so. “He may have had other offers, but he’s come to us as he sees the potential of the club and that there’s the opportunity to go places. “That’s what we’re trying to do here and we’ll welcome his experience and quality that he’ll add to the team. “He’ll only help us to develop and consolidate the team ready for the Championship next season.” CEO Jamie Thomas said: “We’re delighted to have signed Michael Platt for the 2014 season. “Michael is a player of real quality and another great addition to the squad as we look to build a really competitive team for next season.” - See more at: http://www.northwalescrusaders.co.uk/michael-platt-joins-crusaders/#sthash.trFI6RpB.dpuf

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North Wales Crusaders have added a sixth new recruit to their 2014 squad with the signing of Greg Wilde from St Helens.

Wilde has been part of Saints’ strong academy set up since 2009 and has racked up a lot of appearances in his four years with the Super League club.

And the 19-year-old is now looking forward to the next step in his rugby league career with Crusaders.

Wilde said: “I am extremely excited about this opportunity and I’m looking forward to the challenge that lies ahead of me in the Championship.

“I am very excited about working with Clive and the rest of the team down at North Wales.”

Crusaders head coach Clive Griffiths said: “We’re delighted to have Greg on board for next season.

“We’ve identified him as a promising young player who has a lot of potential to do well in the future.

“A lot of clubs were interested in Greg so it’s great that we’ve been able to bring him to the club, and I’m sure he will bring a lot to the side.”

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North Wales Crusaders have re-signed a total of 19 players from their title-wining squad of 2013.

Further to the announcement of the likes of captain Andy Moulsdale, Championship One Player of the Year Jono Smith and former GB international Stuart Reardon signing on the dotted line, Crusaders have also secured the signatures of the majority of the rest of their squad from last term.

Fierce props Jonny Walker, Simon Stephens, Jamie Clarke have agreed to stay on for another year.

Dan Birkett, Steve Bannister, Jamie Dallimore and Tommy Johnson, who made up a threatening Crusaders back line last year, will also turn out for North Wales in 2014.

Local talent Owain Brown and Kriss Wilkes have also agreed terms and Lee Hudson, who was Crusaders’ first ever try-scorer in their first game against Leigh East back in late 2011, will provide options for Clive Griffiths at hooker.

Crusaders CEO Jamie Thomas said: “We’re delighted to re-sign a large chunk of our playing squad from last season.

“They all played their part in a great season which gained us promotion to the Championship last year.”

Other players are also still in talks with the club over new contracts for the 2014 campaign in the Championship.

 

The 2014 squad is currently as follows: Toby Adamson, Craigh Ashall, Karl Ashall, Steve Bannister, Dan Birkett, Owain Brown, Jamie Clarke, Adam Clay, Jamie Dallimore, Owain Griffiths, Lee Hudson, Tommy Johnson, Ryan MacDonald, Rob Massam, Gary Middlehurst, David Mills, Andy Moulsdale, Michael Platt, Stuart Reardon, Christiaan Roets, Jono Smith, Simon Stephens, Jonny Walker, Kriss Wilkes, Greg Wilde.

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North Wales Crusaders have pulled off another major coup with the signing of USA prop Mark Offerdahl.

The Manly Sea Eagles product was central to the Tomahawk’s recent success in World Cup 2013, in which they knocked Wales out at the Glyndwr University Racecourse, with the front rower put in a domineering display. In week one of the competition Offerdahl was named in the RLW2013 Team of the Week, underlining his credentials as a World Class player.

Offerdahl will now return to Wrexham for the 2014 season, having last played there at the weekend against a formidable Australia side.

26 year old Mark last played Rugby League in the French Elite One competition, before a brief contract in Union in Amercia. He’ll now team up again with with his old AS Carcasonne colleague Stuart Reardon, who was instrumental in convincing Mark to sign for the North Wales club.

Head Coach Clive Griffiths said “I’m absolutely delighted that Mark has agreed to sign with us, I believe he’ll be a really important player for us next year. Considering the amount of attention he was receiving from Super League clubs and also an enquiry from at least one NRL outfit, the fact he has decided to come to Crusaders is a major coup.”

“I think the timing was just perfect, as had he come to the attention of the top coaches a little earlier in the year he’d have undoubtedly been snapped up.”

Chief Executive Jamie Thomas said “We’ve really got to thank Stuart quite a bit for getting in Mark’s ear and telling him what a great place to be Crusaders is. I’ve no doubt he’ll fit in well with the boys and we can look forward to the year ahead.”

“Also, before anyone else claims it, I came up with the Cru.S.A chant first!!”

Mark is currently in Australia taking a break following the World Cup, but will join up with the rest of the squad in a few weeks.

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North Wales Crusaders will begin their 2014 campaign in the Championship with a home match against Barrow Raiders on February 16.

There will be a hint of deja vu for Crusaders, as it was the Raiders that they faced in their first ever league game as a club back at the start of 2012.

Next up will then be a trip to Whitehaven, before hosting Featherstone Rovers and later travelling to Leigh Sports Village to face Swinton Lions.

Crusaders will end March with another trip to Leigh Sports Village to face Leigh Centurions two weeks later and then a home clash with Batley Bulldogs.

April will see North Wales travel to Doncaster as well as hosting Rochdale Hornets, who also sealed promotion from Championship One last year, in a Friday battle at the Racecourse.

Arguably the toughest month for Crusaders will be May; home fixtures with Sheffield Eagles and Keighley Cougars along with trips to Halifax and Workington Town lies ahead.

Dewsbury Rams then host Crusaders in early June, before home matches with Whitehaven and Swinton Lions and trips to Yorkshire for ties with Batley Bulldogs and Featherstone Rovers.

The Wrexham-based side face Doncaster at home and then will travel to Sheffield Eagles, finishing July with clashes against Dewsbury and Workington at the Racecourse.

Crusaders then face three weeks on the road as they face Rochdale, Keighley and Barrow, before finishing at home against Leigh Centurions.

The full fixture list is as follows:

1          16/02/2014      North Wales Crusaders v Barrow Raiders                 2.30pm

2          23/02/2014      Whitehaven v North Wales Crusaders                       3.00pm

3          02/03/2014      North Wales Crusaders v Featherstone Rovers        2.30pm

4          09/03/2014      Swinton Lions v North Wales Crusaders                    3.00pm

5          23/03/2014      Leigh Centurions v North Wales Crusaders               TBC

6          30/03/2014      North Wales Crusaders v Batley Bulldogs                 2.30pm

7          13/04/2014      Doncaster v North Wales Crusaders              3.00pm

8          18/04/2014      North Wales Crusaders v Rochdale Hornets 2.30pm

9          04/05/2014      North Wales Crusaders v Sheffield Eagles                2.30pm

10        11/05/2014      Halifax v North Wales Crusaders                               3.00pm

11        18/05/2014      North Wales Crusaders v Keighley Cougars  2.30pm

12        25/05/2014      Workington Town v North Wales Crusaders  3.00pm

13        01/06/2014      Dewsbury Rams v North Wales Crusaders               3.00pm

14        08/06/2014      North Wales Crusaders v Swinton Lions                    2.30pm

15        15/06/2014      North Wales Crusaders v Whitehaven                       2.30pm

16        22/06/2014      Batley Bulldogs v North Wales Crusaders                 2.00p

17        29/06/2014      Featherstone Rovers v North Wales Crusaders        3.00pm

18        06/07/2014      North Wales Crusaders v Doncaster              2.30pm

19        13/07/2014      Sheffield Eagles v North Wales Crusaders                2.00pm

20        20/07/2014      North Wales Crusaders v Dewsbury Rams               2.30pm

21        27/07/2014      North Wales Crusaders v Workington Town  2.30pm

22        03/08/2014      Rochdale Hornets v North Wales Crusaders 3.00pm

23        10/08/2014      North Wales Crusaders v Halifax                               2.30pm

24        17/08/2014      Keighley Cougars v North Wales Crusaders  3.00pm

25        31/08/2014      Barrow Raiders v North Wales Crusaders                 3.00pm

26        07/09/2014      North Wales Crusaders v Leigh Centurions               2.30pm

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I'm going to try and get to some of the Crusaders away games next season, so long as there's no clash with Bulls fixtures.

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I'm going to try and get to some of the Crusaders away games next season, so long as there's no clash with Bulls fixtures.

You'll be made very welcome! Our away support was magnificent last season and I fully expect it to be the same again in the new season.  Keep an eye on the North Wales Crusaders Supporters Club facebook page and the Crusaders Til I Die forum for news and updates.  Our away fixtures have featured a Hawaiian shirt party, Fancy Dress and the Great Crusaders Bake Off. We like to make away trips fun and enjoy our time with opposition fans as well as a great day out to watch rugby league.

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