CELTIC Crusaders, who won their first match 50-10 on Sunday, announced this week that they are looking to organise coach trips to home matches from the Welsh valleys.At the Crusaders? press launch on Monday, their chief executive, Chris O?Callaghan said that there had been considerable interest to do this from fans from all areas of the valleys including Rhondda, Merthyr and Aberdare.O?Callaghan said: ?We are looking at possibility of running coaches from the valleys to the Brewery Field for our first game at home on March 5th. We?ll be having two matches at the Brewery Field that day, a Northern Rail Cup match against London Skolars and an Academy match against Super League side Widnes Vikings. We?ll be putting on a good day for the whole family with entertainment for the kids as well as the rugby. We want to make it as easy as possible for fans to come and see us as we are a team for the whole of Wales.?O?Callaghan also emphasised that rugby league is no longer there to compete with rugby union.?Those days are gone,? added O?Callaghan, ?We are a summer sport ? it fills the gap left by union in the sporting calendar. We must work along side the local rugby union clubs such as Aberavon, Neath, Maesteg and Bridgend, there is simply no point in the two codes going head to head.?We are the fastest growing sport in Wales. Over 600 people played rugby league last year in Aberavon alone. The Challenge Cup Final also proved that, as over 15,000 people spectators were Welsh. This is a sport on the up but not necessarily at the expense of any other.?The Crusaders next turn out on Sunday with an away match at London Skolars.
CARDIFF Demons prop Dave Roberson has been named as the new Development Officer and Community Sports Coach for National League Two side London Skolars. He will start his full-time role at the club on November 28 and will re-unite with original Demons coach Stuart Singleton who is captain of the Skolars.
Roberson has been playing for the Taffs Well-based Cardiff Demons since their first match in the Rugby League Conference in 2001, helping the club to three trophies in that period. The 31 year old also played and scored a try for Wales A against Scotland in 2001. In addition to his Demons role, Roberson has been assistant coach of UWIC for the last two years, a role he also took with the Wales Students side who reached the Shield Final in the World Cup in Australia this summer and with Great Britain students on their ground-breaking tour of Estonia.
Roberson said: "I initially applied the role at Harlequins RL (formerly London Broncos) but they cut the number of positions from three to two so they recommended me to the Skolars. I'm looking forward to the challenge."
Roberson will be keeping his house in Cardiff and is looking forward to a return to South Wales next year when the Skolars face new Welsh club, Celtic Crusaders.
"There's already been a bit of banter between Crusaders coach John Dixon and myself this week," adds Roberson, "I wish him and the Crusaders the best of luck in the their first season and I'm looking forward to crossing swords with him at the Brewery Field later next year."
BRIDGEND Blue Bulls won the "Team of the Year" trophy in the TotalRL.com Rugby League Conference end of season awards ceremony on Saturday. Wales Rugby League chairman, Mark Rowley picked up the award from Sky Sports' Mike "Stevo" Stephenson on behalf of the Blue Bulls. It is the second time in three seasons that the reigning UK amateur champions have won this award.
The Blue Bulls picked up two more honours on Saturday as Paul Morgan, who played in Wales? 38-16 defeat to France in the European Nations Cup Final earlier this month, and Gareth David were both named in the Rugby League Conference ?Dream Team? - 13 players selected from the 80 clubs in the four Premier Divisions, which proved to be such a success during the summer of 2005, and the eight Regional Leagues.
DAN Falvey and Oliver Hughes from Cardiff Demons and Daniel Phillips and Lee Williams from Aberavon Fighting Irish have all been named in the Great Britain Amateur under 18 squad for their Autumn International series.
LEE Briers will follow in the footsteps of Jonathan Davies on Saturday if he can lead Wales to European Nations Cup glory in Carcasonne against France (kick-off 5pm CET).
WALES have named a 20-man squad for their crucial European Nations Cup tie against Ireland on Saturday (kick-off 3pm), 16 of whom lined up in Wales? 22-14 win over Scotland two weeks ago.
WALES are expected to be unchanged for the Rugby League European Nations Cup Final against France on Saturday in Carcassonne (kick-off 5pm CET, 4pm GMT).
IRELAND vs Wales at Terenure College RFC, Dublin, Saturday 29th October, 3pm
WALES are going into Sunday?s crucial Rugby League European Nations Cup opening match against Scotland at the Brewery Field, Bridgend (kick-off 3pm) in a confident mood writes Ian Golden.