Crusaders seek relief from troubles

Welsh club is in crisis but coach believes his struggling team will battle through

At the end of a stressful week, the visit of the club directly above them in the Super League basement almost counts as light relief for the Celtic Crusaders.

With their owner's company in financial trouble, the start of a clear-out of players, an investigation into visa irregularities and talk of relocating to Newport, it has been an unsettling few days, to say the least.

Their coach, John Dixon, is adamant that they will battle through the adversity, but it would be reassuring if they could make a start at that against Salford today.

One of the players on his way out, Damien Quinn, is back in the squad today, along with Matty Smith and Adam Peek, so at least the Crusaders look rather more convincing on the field.

Salford might be only one place above the Welsh club, but they arrive in the Principality in a very different mood, thanks to last weekend's shock victory over the leaders, St Helens.

That win was achieved without the England scrum-half, Richie Myler, who could be sufficiently recovered from a foot injury to play in this one. Jordan Turner is also added to the squad and another of Salford's bright young men, Luke Adamson, plays for the first time since agreeing to a new three-year contract.

Saints, meanwhile, face a Warrington side hungry for a rare Super League win over their neighbours. The Wolves' coach, Tony Smith, has already revealed that Brian Carney will make his first-team debut, while St Helens will be without two of their major influences in Keiron Cunningham and Sean Long. On the brighter side, Leon Pryce returns to try to get Saints back on course.

Third-placed Huddersfield go to Harlequins with Martin Aspinwall, Paul Whatuira, Kevin Brown and Simon Finnigan – all of whom missed last week's win over Wakefield – back in the Giants' squad.

Quins bring Ryan Esders, the forward borrowed from Hull KR last week, straight into their squad. In the continued absence of Rob Purdham, Danny Orr captains the side at the end of a week when he agreed a one-year contract extension.

The highlight of tomorrow's programme is not a Super League match, but Barrow versus Widnes in the final of the Northern Rail Cup at Blackpool. The extra incentive for both clubs is that the winners will be qualified to apply for Super League membership when the licensing procedure takes place again in two years' time.

Widnes, who surprised Halifax in the semi-finals, are the marginal favourites, thanks to their improved form, due in part to loan players like Kevin Penny and Craig Hall.

Barrow will be without the suspended Ned Catic and are sweating on the fitness of their long-serving orchestrator, Darren Holt.

BUY RUGBY WORLD CUP TICKETS

News
election 2015The 10 best quotes of the campaign
News
A caravan being used as a polling station in Ford near Salisbury, during the 2010 election
election 2015The Independent's guide to get you through polling day
News
people
Voices
David Blunkett joins the Labour candidate for Redcar Anna Turley on a campaigning visit last month
voicesWhat I learnt from my years in government, by the former Home Secretary David Blunkett
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

General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

Typefaces still matter in the digital age

A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
The Pan Am Experience is a 'flight' back to the 1970s that never takes off - at least, not literally

Pan Am Experience: A 'flight' back to the 70s

Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics - it's everywhere in the animal world

Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics

Voting, mutual back-scratching, coups and charismatic leaders - it's everywhere in the animal world
Crisp sales are in decline - but this tasty trivia might tempt back the turncoats

Crisp sales are in decline

As a nation we're filling up on popcorn and pitta chips and forsaking their potato-based predecessors
Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

Ronald McDonald the muse

A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
13 best picnic blankets

13 best picnic blankets

Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
Barcelona 3 Bayern Munich 0 player ratings: Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?

Barcelona vs Bayern Munich player ratings

Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?
Martin Guptill: Explosive New Zealand batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Explosive batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Martin Guptill has smashed early runs for Derbyshire and tells Richard Edwards to expect more from the 'freakish' Brendon McCullum and his buoyant team during their tour of England
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'