11th October 2011, 11:56
WRL endorses new professional local derby
Rugby League in Wales is set for exciting North Wales v South Wales en
Rugby League in Wales is set for exciting North Wales v South Wales encounters from 2012 after the announcement today that the new Wrexham-based club in Co-operative Championship 1 will be called "North Wales Crusaders".
An online poll to select a name for the club to take Rugby League forward at the Racecourse saw over 50% of fans go for this name.
A consortium of fans and businesses has put forward a plan to enter a team into the Cooperative Championship One division in 2012, after an invitation was extended by the RFL Board two weeks ago.
Following a successful fans meeting, a shortlist of names was drawn up, including 'Cambrian Crusaders', 'Glyndwr Crusaders' and the ultimately successful 'North Wales Crusaders'. Nearly 700 fans took part in the vote, underlining the support to keep a club in the town.
The news of the new name coincided with the announcement from the RFL that the Wrexham club has been included in the structure of the Championship One for 2012.
Commenting on the news Jamie Thomas, who is heading up the new consortium said: "I'm delighted the RFL have given a strong indication that North Wales Crusaders will be given the green light to run out onto the pitch in 2012.
"Obviously there is the caveat that our Business Plan is still requiring ratification, but that process is ongoing and we certainly see this news as a positive step.
"We're hoping for full confirmation within a week to ten days and we can start work on appointing a Coaching setup and building a team.
"I'm delighted with the choice of the new name. It was important this was lead by the fans and it was great we had so many participate and a clear majority.
"We're all also extremely excited about the prospect of the Welsh derbies next year, as North Wales Crusaders take on South Wales Scorpions. It's going to be tasty!"
South Wales Scorpions chairman Phil Davies said: "Well done to them. I'm happy that there is still another professional team in Wales. This will do wonders for the production of young Welsh players throughout our country and it will of course give us two exciting Welsh derbies for the first time in our history. Next year will be very exciting."
Mark Rowley, General Manager of Wales Rugby League said: "Congratulations to the new North Wales Crusaders in the way that they have set themselves up in such a short space of time.
"We've never had a North Wales v South Wales clash in professional Rugby League before so next season will see some historic games. Everyone in Wales Rugby League will be looking forward to those clashes and I wish both teams luck as they push for promotion in 2012."