Rugby League

North Herts Crusaders Get Rugby League into Local Schools In Hertfordshire

Hitchin Boys School In the North Herts Crusaders Emerging Colleges Tournament

Hitchin Boys School In the North Herts Crusaders Emerging Colleges Tournament

The North Herts Crusaders under the guidance of Head coach Colin Baker along with the help of coaches Daniel Bendon and Robin French have been busy getting schools interested in rugby league with the aim of organising a emerging colleges tournament. The Crusaders coaches have been busy going around schools introducing players the greatest game.

Myself, being a founder of the North Herts Crusaders could have only dreamed of the success we have had in the last 2 years since our inception. In year one we ran 2 teams on a number of occasions and in  year 2 we had a huge number of players join us in the newly formed under 16s age group in addition to our 2 senior teams. Now on the cusp of our 3rd season we will be adding another junior team of which both will be playing in the London Junior Leagues. The teams will be under 17s and under 15s.

With the success of the schools coaching and the emerging colleges tournament we have every the new Crusaders Junior teams have every reason to be optimistic for the 2014.

Finalists Hitchin Boys School and Leventhorpe College

Finalists Hitchin Boys School and Leventhorpe College

On a sunny Wednesday afternoon we welcome four local schools down to Legends lane to take part in the emerging colleges tournament of which the winning team will go onto a regional colleges competition on 12th February.
The following teams bought players to take part in what turned out to be a hotly contested tournament with some real talent in all the teams on show.

1. Leventhorpe College (Sawbridgeworth)

2. Hitchin Boys School (Hitchin)

3. Samuel Whitbread (Shefford)

4. Knights Templar (Baldock)


Hitchin Boys 4-26 Leventhorpe

Hitchin Boys 22-0 Samuel Whitbread

Knights Templar 16-4 Samuel Whitbread

Leventhorpe 26-0 Knights Templar

Knights Templar 0-30 Hitchin Boys

With these results this left Leventhorpe and Hitchin Boys to contest the final. Throughout the day all the teams got the hang of what is a new game for them and none more so than Hitchin Boys. It was expected that Hitchin Boys would looking to exact revenge for their earlier defeat and we will see a close game that will go to the wire and that is what we got.

Leventhorpe College 6-4 Hitchin Boys



With just a conversion separating the teams it was a fitting end to a great day of rugby league and it was Leventhorpe that qualify and go through to the regional colleges finals on 12th February.

What we saw from all teams was a lot of raw talent that really enjoyed their day of playing rugby league of which many were playing their first ever game. This indeed bodes well for the future of the game within North Herts and the surrounding areas as we hope that they will come and play some rugby league during the summer.

With this successful tournament behind us we can look forward to the season ahead and particularly our two junior teams the Under 15s and Under 17s age groups of which many of the players on show today will be involved.

The Crusaders Junior preseason training will be on Saturday mornings and will begin on Saturday 1st February. Both teams will be entered into the London Junior leagues.

So tell your friends and lets get more people playing the greatest game. We are also looking for open age players of all abilities. Come and join a thriving sports club.


Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - January 25, 2014 at 22:33

Categories: Rugby clubs, Rugby League, Tournaments   Tags:

Rugby League growing Down South & North Herts Crusaders RLFC Plans For 2014




I don’t know about you but I have definitely been inspired by the greatest rugby league world cup ever, as have we all at the Crusaders. With the news that London Broncos will be moving just up the road to Barnet FC is great news for us and will make the possibility for some of our talented players to have a visible pathway into Super League Rugby.

These facts combined with Hemel Stags, who are a Semi Pro Championship 1 club, on our doorstep in Hemel Hempstead, paints a very rosy picture for the future of Rugby League in Hertfordshire where numerous pathways exist for playing the game professionally and we definitely have a few players that could make this leap. We at the Crusaders will always push our players to fulfill their full potential and gain representational honours, again of which there are many.

We have also been working very hard behind the scenes not only strengthening the infrastructure and teams we currently have in place but also to increase the player base in both senior and junior sections of the club with the introduction of another junior team. This season we will be running under 17s and under 15s double aged groups.

Open Age Rugby League For 2014

2014 will see the Crusaders defend the East of England Championship. With 2 back to back grand final wins and a cup win the Crusaders are the team to beat and this coming season the other teams in the league will be looking to steal our crown and will no doubt be lifting their games against us, so there is no room for complacency.

This year we have a new team that joins the East Premier and that is Southend Spartans who are a well run club and will be a strong addition to the league and a somewhat unknown quantity but will definitely be a force to be reckoned with.

The league will look like this

North Herts Crusaders
St Ives Roosters
Bedford Tigers
MK Wolves
Kings Lynn Black Knights
Southend Spartans

We will also be looking to increase player numbers and have more fixtures for the Knights (2nd team) and will be looking to attack the entry league also this season. So bring your friends down this spring and enjoy the great club atmosphere in the sunshine.


Junior Rugby League For 2014

Exciting Plans Ahead For North Herts Crusaders Season 2014

North Herts Crusaders under 16s 2013

Due to the success of the under 16s last year and the interest shown from younger players to play the greatest game we will be adding an addition Junior team this year. Due to changes in the structure of junior league we will be running the following double age groups.

Coach: Robin French
Under 15s (including under 14s)

Coach Dan Bendon
Under 17s (Including under 16s)

These junior teams will be entered in the London Junior leagues.

Junior training will be on Saturday mornings and will commence on Saturday 1st February 2014.

Feedback from the under 16s playing rugby league last summer, with many going onto being selected for the London Origins squads, is very positive. This year we are hoping to have more players selected for not only the Origins but other representational rugby league opportunities, of which there are many. We as a club are very keen to push players for these honours.

As you can see rugby league is growing down south and I like to think that as a club the North Herts Crusaders are playing their part in introducing the greatest game to a new audience and thus growing the game down south.

I would welcome your thoughts on how you think that clubs like ours can make a real difference down south.




1 comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - January 9, 2014 at 14:14

Categories: Rugby clubs, Rugby League   Tags:

How to Get More Members for Your Sports Club Using Social Media

North Herts Crusaders RLFC

North Herts Crusaders RLFC

Living in Hertfordshire and from a family where rugby union is the main rugby code, it is maybe a surprise that the author is a total convert to the “Greatest Game” of Rugby League. Indeed this is largely due to myself beinginvolved in the creation of the North Herts Crusaders. The Crusaders though only 2 years old have won 2 grand finals and the newly created East of England cup in their short history.


In our first year the plan was to get a team out every week but we exceeded that by putting 2 teams out on a number of occasions. In year two we again put out two senior teams and we also started out first ever youth team, the under 16s. Though the under 16s did not get entered into a league, they did however play established opponents and went unbeaten all season until their last game away to Coventry Bears which was the only loss for the young Crusaders. We also had eight players from our under 16s team who went on to being selected for the London Origins squads.


By any standards this has been a successful first two years for the Crusaders. How did we do it? We have been extremely lucky in attracting a top coach in Colin Baker, however how did we get so much interest in our club. Well that was my job to get as much publicity for our club and we somehow needed to make a much more effort in my view than a established club and indeed an established sport. Before the club was even started I created a Twitter account and quickly gained hundreds then thousand of followers with the last count being 6590 followers, which is almost as much as a SuperLeague club. In addition to this the Crusaders Facebook page also has well over 200 Likes. Our website is almost always in the top 50 rugby league websites on Pitchero.


However its not just the social media we are relying on, I also ensure that we are given lots of publicity in the local papers as this is where you will be letting the locals know that your club has arrived and to keep them informed. I have also been successful in getting us in national rugby league publications such as League Express, Forty Twenty Magazine and Rugby Club Magazine. I meet lots of people and its always pleasing to hear how the Crusaders are doing from others.


In this day and age Social media is very important for promoting your club and getting more people involved in your clubs. Its a great way to engage with potential players, volunteers and sponsors as in this day and age the young people are all on twitter, Facebook and many other social media sites and these are the people that we need to engage. In addition you should be getting press releases out in the local newspapers, with all clubs there is always a story that  can be interesting whether its your club or members of your club that are the topic.

North Herts Crusaders Win The East Of England Championship

Rugby League in Hertfordshire


The above combined with being friendly and welcoming on both training and match nights, something i have written about before, Please see HERE,


So if you are in need of getting more people involved in your club in whatever capacity, then there is always something that you can do. I give you a few here as i believe in the future social media is becoming more and more important. However this does not mean that you do not use more traditional advertising like flyers or newspaper adverts. Try and do a bit of everything but ignore Social Media at your peril.





1 comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - October 31, 2013 at 20:12

Categories: English Rugby, Rugby clubs, Rugby League   Tags:

North Herts Crusaders Rugby League Club Go From Strength To Strength

Spen Allison Presents Man Of Steel shield To Kyle Hughes

Spen Allison Presents Man Of Steel shield To Kyle Hughes of the North herts Crusaders

I am sorry for the lack of posts however i have been busy helping build a sustainable rugby league team in the south of England. Its been a great buzz and have really enjoyed getting the word out and trying to convert players to a game that i have grown to love. This last week we had our second ever awards evening and had the pleasure of the company of Spen Allison and Ikram Butt legends in the rugby league world, a world we are learning about and are loving it.

The much anticipated end of season Dinner and presentation evening was a sell out with over 72 guests that included players, partners, parents, sponsors and friends that have all contributed to the success story of the Crusaders. The venue was The Orange Tree In Baldock, who are also a club sponsor and along with Greene King kindly sponsored the food for the evening which was delicious.We had great honour of having as our guests for the evening Ikram Butt and Spen Allison. Ikram is and ex professional rugby league player having played at representative level for England, and at club level for Featherstone Rovers, Leeds Rhinos, Huddersfield Giants, and London Broncos, as a Wing. Ikram Butt was the first south Asian to play either code of international rugby for England in 1995.

Spen Allison as the second of our special guests. Spen Allison is a living legend within rugby league circles having been the long serving Chairman of the British Amateur Rugby League Association (BARLA) and now still involved as the Senior Vice Chairman of BARLA. Spen has been on the BARLA management committee since 1958 which is just over 55 voluntary management years to British Amateur Rugby League a great achievement and a great commitment to the greatest game.

The Crusaders had a lot to celebrate this year with the open age team going the league season unbeaten and winning both the East Cup and East Grand finals and making it to the quarter finals of the National Harry Jepson Cup. In the national cup we suffered our first defeat of the season at the hands of the eventual winners of the Harry Jepson Cup South London Chargers.

It was not all about the open age section as this year was the inaugural season for the newly formed under 16s team which shocked the Eastern Rhinos team in their first ever game and indeed when on to win all but one game this season. In addition to this we also had 7 under 16s players gaining representational honours playing in the London Origins where the best of north and south of the river Thames battle it out in a three game series.

Ikram Butt Presents Awards To Under 16s Players Player Of The Year

Ikram Butt Presents Awards To Under 16s Players Player Of The Year

First up for the rewards was the under 16s our special guest Ikram Butt was to give out the awards.

The Under 16s winners

Players Player Of The Year: Simon Taylor

Coaches Player of the year: Ruiri Shanahan

Top Gun Award: Charlie Parkhouse

Graduation Awards

Graduation awards are given to those players that break through from junior rugby to the open age team and we had 2 players that stepped up and performed admirabley in possibly our toughest game in the quarter final of the Harry Jepson Cup the two graduates this year were:

Charlie Parkhouse

Lewis Copsey


Open Age Winners

Players Player Of The Year: Evan Griffiths

Coaches Player of the year: Alex Nolan

Man Of Steel: Kyle Hughes

It was a tough decision to pick just three winners from each age group as there were many worthy winners. A huge well done and thanks for a great season.

We also like to reward volunteers that go the extra mile to help the club function and thus a special award which recognised the hard work and commitment throughout the season.

Crusader Of The Year: Anne Peterson

This wraps up the second season for the Crusaders which has seen great growth and ultimately success on and off the pitch. Thank you everyone that contributed in whatever way no matter how small as its with the involvement of great people that we can grow and continue to thrive as a club in North Hertfordshire.


Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - October 4, 2013 at 11:27

Categories: English Rugby, Rugby clubs, Rugby League, World Rugby   Tags: , , , ,

North Herts Crusaders Rugby League Club, East Of England Champions, Plan For 2013

North Herts Crusaders a rugby league club based in Letchworth Garden City, Hertfordshire have had an amazing first season they managed to get to the East of England play off finals and indeed beat St Ives Roosters 63-30 which is quite impressive for a club in there first season. As you know the author has been involved with this enterprise since it was merely a thought in my mind and seeing this success has been amazing.

North Herts Crusaders Win The East Of England Championship

Rugby League in Hertfordshire

With this success we are not resting on our laurels we know that the club needs a lot of hard work to make us a great club and hopefully make us a club that goes places.


We have been working very hard behind the scenes to make season 2013 even better than the first. Next season we plan to run two open age teams every week with North Herts Crusader ‘A’ team playing in the London & South East Entry League. In addition we have great pleasure in announcing that we will also be establishing a under 16s junior team. Players in the age range 13 to 16 years of age that want to play rugby league next summer then please get in contact. The under 16s will have the opportunity to play other local teams.

The advantages for getting involved in rugby league and playing during the summer are immense. Not only do you get to keep fit during the summer but the demands of the game and the skills gained can and will help your all round rugby football skills as has been demonstared by some of our players, who are clearly better rugby union players as a result of playing league.

We at the Crusaders are very lucky to have former Harlequins RL and London Broncos player performance coach Colin Baker as our head coach. Colin has recently been awarded the prestigious London and the South East Regional Open Age Men’s Coach of the Year award. He will not only be coaching the senior teams but he will be assisting with the junior coaching also. We will be enrolling two of our senior players on Level 2 rugby league coaching courses who will then be able to assist Colin with both the Junior set up and open age team coaching.

North Herts Crusaders Against Kings Lynn Black Knights

North Herts Crusaders Against Kings Lynn Black Knights

This will As you can see the North Herts Crusaders is an exciting place to be right now and we hope to see more of you next summer and hopefully we can make the Cruaders grow even more. Pre-season starts in March/April.

Watch out for further announcements on this website HERE and please don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and Like our Facebook page.

Follow us on Twitter by clicking HERE

Like our Facebook page by clicking HERE

1 comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - November 22, 2012 at 20:41

Categories: English Rugby, Rugby League   Tags:

Wheelchair Rugby League And The Mighty Bury Jigsaw WRL

Bury Jigsaw Wheelchair Rugby League Club

Bury Jigsaw Wheelchair Rugby League Club

Developed in France back in 2000, Wheelchair Rugby League was introduced to our shores back in 2005.
The game is quite unique in that it offers both disabled and non-disabled players the opportunity to compete both with and against each other.
No matter what gender or age all players compete on level playing field which is created by the use of wheelchairs and some slight adaptions of the rules of Rugby League.
A brief overview of the game includes:


  • There are five players on each side
  • The object of the game is to score tries
  • Conversions are scored by punching the ball over the mini-posts from a tee
  • Tackles are made in the same way as Tag Rugby by pulling off the attached tag
  • Five tackles are followed by the handing over of possession
  • Offside, knock-on and in-touch apply just like in the full version of the game


Wheelchair rugby league is an all inclusive sport which allows disabled and non-disabled players to play at the elite level of club and international competition ,the only wheelchair sport that allows this. The wheelchair rugby league world cup corresponds with the running rugby league world cup year and England are current champions, winning the competion in 2009.


Bury Jigsaw WRL was formed in 2009 after the world cup success and funding from a local charity called Jigsaw, which specialises in helping disabled people lead healthy lifestyles by participating in sport and physical activity. Paul McCormick, who works for Jigsaw and is a wheelchair rugby league World Cup winner with England, took the helm as coach.


Since formation Bury Jigsaw WRL  have played in the top tier of Wheelchair rugby league starting off slowly but eventually progressing into 2011 National champions, beating Halifax in the Grand Final 56-47. From this success they have acquired enough players to enter two teams into the league, one remaining in the Premier League (1st tier) and the other being entered at Championship level (2nd tier).


In their current squad of players Bury Jigsaw WRL  have the England coach, Captain and three Senior england internationals with two england development team players and the Scotland captain and a senior Scottish international player, although many players within the club are pushing for call ups for their respective countries.


Bury Jigsaw WRL  are at the midpoint in our current season with both Premierleague and championship sides in contention for their respective leagues.


As with any club Bury Jigsaw WRL  are always on the look out for volunteers that would like to help out at the club, sponsorship or people interested in playing the sport whether they be disabled or non-disabled.Rugby and sports and a sport that both abled bodied and disabled can play together on a equal footing. From my perspective it sounds like a lot of fun and a great way to get more people playing and being members of your club.


I would sincerely like to Thank Jack Heggie for this brief introduction to the sport and to to Bury Jigsaw WRL.


To find out more about the sport, or to give it a Try, please email Paul McCormick at and/or phone him on 0161 253 6308

You can also follow them on twitter @BuryJigsawWRL



Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - July 12, 2012 at 22:07

Categories: English Rugby, Rugby clubs, Rugby League   Tags: ,

The Making Of North Herts Crusaders Rugby League Club In Hertfordshire

 North Herts Crusaders Rugby League Football Club was formed in Letchworth Garden City in Hertfordshire which is not exactly a hot bed of rugby league. The area has many rugby union clubs the like of Letchworth rugby union club itself, Stevenage Town , Hitchin, Royston and Datchworth Rugby Union Clubs, there was no rugby league side in the area. Rugby League generally being played in the summer months means there is no crossover so players can play both codes.

North Herts Crusaders RLFC

North Herts Crusaders RLFC

St Albans had a well established club The St Albans Centurions founded in 1996 and Hemel Hempstead has the Hemel Stags who have been around since the 1981 and till now these are the only clubs in the Hertfordshire area. Now there is a new kid on the block, North Herts Crusaders.

North Herts Crusaders RLFC was founded by Mick Johal, James Tirrell, Liam Corcoran and Robin French. The story was that James Tirrell who had made his name in rugby union representing Saracens, England under 20s and England 7s teams and now the Rugby development officer for Letchworth Garden City Rugby Union Club, was looking for ways to further increase participation in sports in North Herts. James suggested the idea to Mick Johal who instantly thought this is a great idea for giving players a way to keep fit and sharp during the summer period and he ran with the idea. Liam Corcoran and Robin  French had a avid interest in rugby league and had often spoke about starting a team and thus were recruited onto the committee and a plan of action was put in place. North Herts Crusaders is a completely independent rugby league club with its own membership and sponsorships.

This was all going on in February 2012 and a meeting was arranged with The RFL and The North Herts Crusaders Rugby League Football Club was born with Letchworth Rugby Club as its home ground. The Crusaders were placed in the East Regional League – East along with St Ives Roosters, Bury Titans, Kings Lynn Black Knights, Bedford Tigers and Milton Keynes Wolves.

North Herts Crusaders First Ever Team against Bedford Tigers

North Herts Crusaders First Ever Team against Bedford Tigers

The Crusaders are now over half way through their league campaign, having shocked Bedford Tigers in there first ever game defeating them at their home 22-26. As of 7th July 2012 we have played 7 first team games and won 5 of them. In addition hey have fielded a second team on a number of occasions with their first ever game against Weald Warriors and running out winners by 84-30. Its looking very good for their first season.

North Herts Crusaders has been a huge success story they have registered over 50 players and have recruited a top coach in Colin Baker who comes with a lot of experience previously being a coach at Harlequins RL and London Broncos.

There is now plans to extend the membership by setting up junior teams so that  a pipeline that feeds into open age rugby league with players that already know the game. The Crusaders are very lucky to have the support of Letchworth Rugby Union Club who are one of the areas top clubs with a huge number of players, which gives the crusaders access to a talented pool of players, who want to play rugby through the summer months. The membership of the Crusaders is not solely based on Letchworth Rugby Club however,  they have registered players from a number of local rugby clubs with a split of around 50% letchworth and 50 % non Letchworth based players with players from rugby union clubs across Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire.

North Herts Crusaders V St Ives Roosters

North Herts Crusaders V St Ives Roosters

The advantages to Letchworth Rugby Club are numerous but primarily the clubhouse will be in  use all year round with added revenue to the bar and bringing new people to use the facilities who otherwise would never have done so. The advantage for the players is that they have been keeping fit and sharp in readiness for the Rugby Union season to start. This has the added benefit of having players that are match fit at preseason.

Players from different clubs are forging new friendships with players from different clubs and indeed from different sports as a number of their players are footballers who wanted to play competitive sport during the summer, hopefully these players will enjoy it so much they take up rugby league as there first sport.

The phenomenon of The North Herts Crusaders in Letchworth is is set to grow and grow already it has created much interest in both local press and the Rugby Football League itself. North Herts Crusaders have today over 2300 followers on twitter with the likes of Leeds Rhinos following them.

North Herts Crusaders are always looking for new players and coaches so if you want to be involved with Rugby League in Hertfordshire then there is only one club to choose that is the Crusaders. For Further information contact them through their website or email on

2 comments - What do you think?  Posted by admin - July 9, 2012 at 21:37

Categories: English Rugby, Rugby clubs, Rugby League   Tags:

You might also likeclose
Visit Us On TwitterVisit Us On FacebookVisit Us On Youtube