Crusaders complete move to Wrexham

Super League has a new home in Wales – all it needs now is a team to play there. The sale of the ailing Crusaders to Wrexham Football Club was confirmed yesterday, which means that all but two home games next season will be played at the Racecourse Ground. The exceptions will be at Neath, which will also be home to a new South Wales side in the Co-operative Championship 1.

It is not, Brian Noble admits, what he signed up for when he agreed to coach the then Celtic Crusaders. "But I think it's a fabulously exciting time for rugby league in Wales," he said. "Everybody involved in rugby league should be excited." They certainly did their best to stoke up excitement in Wrexham yesterday. "This area of North Wales has been starved of top-class sport for too many years," said the football club's chief executive, Paul Retout, who brokered the deal. "This is equivalent to bringing Premier League football to the town."

The Crusaders' chief executive, Mike Turner, even managed to make a virtue of the area's lack of rugby heritage. "There is fantastic interest in Super League in North Wales and a lot less competition, although we still need to be competitive on the field."

That is the rub. Crusaders have fewer than a dozen players left from their traumatic first Super League season and have announced just one new recruit, Hull's Tommy Lee. Others are in the pipeline, but they will not include the former New Zealand winger, Matt Utai, with whom they were in negotiations. "He's pulled the pin and retired," said Noble. "We are a bit behind the eight-ball where recruitment is concerned."

St Helens have announced that next season will be their last at Knowsley Road. Their new stadium in the town is due to be ready for 2011.

BUY RUGBY WORLD CUP TICKETS

Sport
England's women celebrate after their 3rd place play-off win against Germany
Women's World CupFara Williams converts penalty to secure victory and bronze medals
Arts and Entertainment
Ricardo by Edward Sutcliffe, 2014
artPortraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb go on display
News
newsHillary Clinton comments on viral Humans of New York photo of gay teenager
Arts and Entertainment
The gang rape scene in the Royal Opera’s production of Gioachino Rossini’s Guillaume Tell has caused huge controversy
music
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'