Clive Griffiths named North Wales Crusaders coach

Clive Griffiths
Griffiths switched codes and signed for St Helens for a record £27,000 in 1979

Former Great Britain and Wales coach Clive Griffiths has been named coach of the new North Wales Crusaders, who will play in Championship One next season.

The Wrexham-based club has risen from the demise of Crusaders, who withdrew their Super League application because of financial concerns.

Griffiths takes over the new part-time team after coach Iestyn Harris left Crusaders to become Wigan assistant.

"It's an exciting challenge when you take over a new organisation," he said.

"The problems of the past are well-documented but this is a new venture, a new board and hopefully a new outcome in the years ahead.

"We have a blank sheet of paper so we are in the process of rapidly assembling a squad that can be competitive in the first season."

The 57-year-old former dual code Wales international has also coached in rugby union and was part of Mike Ruddock's backroom staff during Wales' Grand Slam triumph of 2005.

Griffiths, who also worked with Ruddock at English Premiership side Worcester, recently assisted the Canadian rugby side at the 2011 World Cup and also coached the Rygbi Gogledd Cymru team last season.

He was also a coaching consultant during Harris' first year as Wales rugby league coach.

Griffiths revealed he will combine the Crusaders role with other consultancy work in union and insists there will be no conflict between the two codes.

North Wales Crusaders chief executive Jamie Thomas said: "To get someone of Clive's pedigree and experience was hugely important for the birth of the new club and our first season in Championship One.

"We spoke to quite a few coaches during the recruitment process and Clive stood out not only for his excellent rugby brain but also a proven track record of pulling a squad together and making them competitive in a short space of time, which is the real and major task ahead of us."