New Crusaders side awarded Championship One place

Racecourse Ground
North Wales Crusaders will play at Wrexham's Racecourse Ground

A club formed in the aftermath of the demise of Super League side Crusaders will play in the Co-Operative Championship One next season.

The new side, created by a consortium of businesses and fans, will be called North Wales Crusaders.

Its place has been confirmed by Rugby Football League after ratifying the new club's business plan.

"They've met all the criteria required to become full members of the RFL," said RFL chief executive Nigel Wood.

"The timing of this development could not be more succinct, coming as it does just two days before Wales play Australia in the 2011 Gillette Four Nations at Wrexham."

North Wales Crusaders will join another Welsh side, South Wales Scorpions, in competing the third tier of the RFL's league structure.

The original Crusaders withdrew their application for a Super League licence in July, citing financial concerns.

Their intention had always been to re-form under new ownership, but their plans were dealt a blow in September when the RFL rejected their application to join the Championship.

They were invited to join the Championship One, though, and given 14 days to submit an application.

Jamie Thomas, who is heading up the new consortium, said: "We are absolutely thrilled to have managed to rescue the club from the brink of extinction and it's a testament to the fans for the unwavering supporting throughout what has been a really tough time.

"So much hard work has been put in to develop the game in the community it would have been a travesty if all of that had gone to waste.

"North Wales has embraced Rugby League and the fans have really taken it to their hearts.

"This is the dawn of a real solid future for the game in the region."

The club will play its home games at Wrexham's Racecourse Ground after securing a deal with the stadium owner, Glyndŵr University.

"Clearly it's a fantastic facility that has been home to some really exciting matches over the last couple of years and long may that continue," Thomas added.

As well as competing in the 10-team Championship One league, which starts in March, North Wales Crusaders will also play in next season's Carnegie Challenge.

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