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 but 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 was founded by Letchworth Rugby Club members Mick Johal, James Tirrell, Liam Corcoran and Robin French. 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.
In February 2012 James suggested the idea to Mick Johal who instantly thought this is a great idea and ran with the idea. Liam Corcoran and Robin French had a avid interest in rugby league and had often spoken about starting a team and thus were recruited onto the committee and a plan of action was put in place and the rest is history.
A totaly indapendant rugby league club was created attracting players from across the region. A meeting was arranged with The RFL and The North Herts Crusaders Rugby League Football Club was born and it was decided that Letchworth Rugby Club was chosen as the base.
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 has been a huge success story they have registered over 67 senior rugby league players and managed to put out a second team on a number of occasions. We are very forunate to have Colin Baker, who lived locally, as our head coach. Colin comes with a lot of experience previously being a coach at Harlequins RL and London Broncos.
In our first season we finished joint top of the league and going on to win the East of England grand final in style against St Ives Roosters running out 63-30 winners at Bedford Tigers home ground Putnoe Woods.
With our triumphant innaugral season plans are in place to build on our success and start a youth team and have a second team play every week and who knows maybe a ladies rugby league team.
Watch this space