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Last Updated: Wednesday, 10 January 2007, 13:59 GMT
Crusaders unveil 11 new signings
Terry Martin in action for the Canberra Raiders
Terry Martin is an experienced second-row forward
Celtic Crusaders have announced 11 new signings ahead of the start of next season's National League Two campaign.

The new recruits include Wales centre Anthony Blackwood and Australians Terry Martin from NRL club Canberra Raiders and Darren Mapp from Cronulla Sharks.

They join the 14 players retained from last season's squad that lost in the play-off semi-final in sudden death.

The Bridgend-based side have also recruited Thibault Giroud from Super League's Harlequins as a fitness coach.

Frenchman Giroud has played professional American Football, won an Olympic bobsleigh gold medal, trained with sprinter Frankie Fredericks and played rugby union for Saracens.

We've brought in players that are very capable of leading us to promotion this year

Crusaders manager Gerald McCarthy

Crusaders also announced a new shirt sponsorship deal with Redrow Homes for the forthcoming season.

"While last season was a great success, already there is a sense of enthusiasm and anticipation for 2007," said Crusaders operations manager Gerald McCarthy.

"John Dixon [coach] has been very active this winter and has brought in some experienced, quality players that are very capable of leading us to promotion this year.

"Rugby league is really taking off here in Wales and I've a feeling that this, the centenary year for the sport in the principality, will be the best yet."

The Crusaders get their season underway with a home Northern Rail Cup tie against Widnes Vikings on Friday 9 February, followed by a high-profile friendly with Brisbane Broncos on Thursday, 15 February.

The Broncos are using the fixture as a warm-up for their World Club Challenge with St Helens eight days later.

Celtic Crusaders squad: Terry Martin, Darren Mapp, Neil Budworth, Craig Richards, Anthony Blackwood, Mark Dalle Cort, Rob Toshack, Josh Cale, Paul Ballard, Andy Boothroyd, Jamie I'Anson, Chris Beasley, Phil Cushion, Geraint Davies, Hywel Davies, Gareth Dean, Tony Duggan, Grant Epton, Dean Fitzgerald, Richard Johnson, Lee Jones, Damien Quinn, Jace Van Dijk, Neale Wyatt, Luke Young.

Crusaders start season with bang
04 Dec 06 |  Rugby League


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