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Last Updated: Monday, 4 December 2006, 14:46 GMT
Crusaders start season with bang
Rugby League
Celtic Crusaders will kick-off Wales Rugby League's centenary year in 2007 with two glamour ties in a week.

The Bridgend-based club open their competitive season with a home Northern Rail Cup tie against Widnes Vikings on Friday 9 February.

Six days later the Crusaders will take on NRL champions Brisbane Broncos in a World Club Challenge warm-up match.

Most of the Crusaders home matches for the coming season will now be on Saturdays evenings rather than Sundays.

The only exceptions to this will be the Widnes, Brisbane, Blackpool and Oldham Roughyeds matches.

The Crusaders' National League Two campaign opens on Good Friday, 6 April, with an away fixture against London Skolars, while their first home league match of the season is against Blackpool Panthers on Easter Monday.

Crusaders operations manager Gerald McCarthy said: "The Saturday evening kick-off is a change for the better and has already been welcomed by our fans.

"Many of our potential supporters who live some distance away from Bridgend were unable to make it last season due to poor Sunday public transport.

"We have taken their views into consideration and this change will result in larger crowds."


CELTIC CRUSADERS FIXTURES 2007:

WORLD CLUB CHALLENGE WARM-UP:
Thurs 15th Feb - 7.30pm Brisbane Broncos (h).

NORTHERN RAIL CUP:
Fri 9th Feb - 7.30pm Widnes Vikings (h)
Sun 18th Feb - 3pm London Skolars (h)
Sun 25th Feb - 3pm Leigh Centurions (a)
Sun 4th Mar - 3pm London Skolars (a)
Sun 18th Mar - 4pm Leigh Centurions (h)
Sun 25th Mar - 3pm Widnes Vikings (a)

NATIONAL LEAGUE TWO:
Fri 6th Apr - 3pm London Skolars (a)
Mon 9th Apr - 7.30pm Blackpool Panthers (h)
Sun 15th Apr - 3pm Keighley Cougars (a)
Sat 28th Apr - 6pm Swinton Lions (h)
Fri 4th May - 7.30pm Oldham Roughyeds (h)
Sun 13th May - 3pm York City Knights (a)
Sun 20th May - 3pm Workington Town (a)
Sat 26th May - 6pm Gateshead Thunder (h)
Sat 2nd June - 6pm Featherstone Rovers (h)
Sat 9th June - 6pm Barrow Raiders (h)
Sun 17th June - 3.30pm Hunslet Hawks (a)
Sun 23rd June - 6pm Workington Town (h)
Sat 30th June - 6pm York City Knights (h)
Sat 7th July - 6pm London Skolars (h)
Sun 15th July - 3pm Swinton Lions (a)
Sun 22nd July - 3pm Blackpool Panthers (a)
Sun 29th July - 3pm Featherstone Rovers (a)
Sun 5th Aug - 3pm Barrow Raiders (a)
Sat 11th Aug - 6pm Hunslet Hawks (h)
Sat 18th Aug - 6pm Keighley Cougars (h)
Sun 2nd Sept - 3pm Oldham Roughyeds (a)
Sun 9th Sept - 3pm Gateshead Thunder (a)
Sat 15th Sept Play-offs Start
Sun 7th Oct Play-off Final

NORTHERN RAIL CUP KNOCK-OUT STAGES:
21st / 22nd April First Round - Hunslet Hawks (a)
26th / 27th May Quarter-Finals
23rd / 24th June Semi-Finals
15th July Final

RUGBY LEAGUE CHALLENGE CUP:
Third Round; Sat 10th March - 6pm Eastmoor Dragons (h)
Fourth Round; 31st March / 1st April - 3pm Rochdale Hornets (a)
Fifth Round; 12th / 13th May
Quarter-Finals; 9th / 10th June
Semi-Finals; 28th / 29th July
Final; Sat 25th Aug (Wembley)



SEE ALSO
Crusaders set up Broncos friendly
23 Nov 06 |  Rugby League


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