Crusaders might be at the foot of the Super League table, but they have made what their coach, Iestyn Harris, says are a couple of steps in the right direction. Harris believes the long-term future for the Wrexham-based club lies in recruiting young British players. If they happen to be Welsh-qualified, like the former St Helens and Warrington second-rower Andy Bracek, so much the better.
Bracek, who started this season with Barrow, has a knee injury that will prevent him from making his debut at Castleford today, but anothernew signing who has agreed a similar 18-month contract is expected to be in the team.
Jordan Tansey arrived earlier this week from Dewsbury, having been sacked by Hull last month. The former Leeds utility player brings some baggage with him. The cancellation of his contract by Hull came after a third disciplinary breach, all involving drinking at the wrong time.
Despite that, Harris has faith in Tansey's talent and in his own abilityto straighten him out. "He wants to get back to playing at the highest level and showing everybody what a great player he can be," he said.
The second batch of good news for the club came from the UK Borders Agency, who have approved the re-admittance of two members of last year's squad, Rhys Hanbury and Frank Winterstein, and will allow the Newcastle Knights second-rower Hep Cahill into the country.
The arrival of five new players will add depth to Crusaders' squad, particularly at half-back and in the back row. They will have to battle through today at Castleford, however, with Tansey as the only newcomer.
Cas were beaten for the first time at Bradford last week and they have had to admit that their new stadium is not going to be ready for 2012, making it an unsettling week all round.
Better news is that their captain and most influential player, Danny Orr, has not damaged his shoulder as badly as was first feared at Bradford and he will be fit to take the field.
Kyle Amor will have the unusual experience of playing against his parent club this afternoon. Leeds have extended the Cumbrian prop's loan and also given permission for him to play for Wakefield against them.
Harlequins' powers of recuperation will be tested today after the 82 points they conceded at Warrington. Hull, with just one win this season, are the visitors to The Stoop. "The boys have responded in their attitude and intensity in training and I know they will bounce back," said the Quins coach, Rob Powell. "We have a strong enough group to put things right."