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Crusaders sign GB prop Jamie Thackray from Hull

Jamie Thackray
Thackray will face former club Leeds in his first Crusaders appearance

Crusaders have bolstered their squad ahead of the start of the Super League season by signing Great Britain international Jamie Thackray.

The 30-year-old prop joins the Welsh club following a year with Hull FC.

Coach Brian Noble has also tempted former Cronulla Sharks three-quarter Vince Mellars to sign for the club.

Both will join the Crusaders next week to prepare for the opening match of the season against Leeds Rhinos in Wrexham on Friday, 29 January.

Thackray has a wealth of Super League experience to his name, having played 180 times in Europe's elite competition for the Rhinos, Hull FC, Castleford Tigers and Halifax.

All three of his GB caps came in 1995 during Noble's reign as Lions coach.

"I'm very much looking forward to it, especially as the first game is against my old club Leeds Rhinos," Thackray said. "What better way is there to start?

"I'm delighted to have signed for the Crusaders. I've played under Brian [Noble] and Jon Sharp [assistant coach] for Great Britain but I'm looking forward to working for Iestyn Harris [assistant coach] for the first time.

"Everyone speaks highly of this new coaching team at the Crusaders and I can't wait to get started."

Mellars, 25, started his professional career with the New Zealand Warriors and made his NRL debut aged 19.

He went on to play for NRL clubs Cronulla Sharks and Sydney Roosters, as well as Newtown Jets in the NSW Premier League, before switching to the union game in 2008 with Canterbury Crusaders.

The move to the 15-man game lasted only a year, though, and he returned to the 13-man code last season to play for NSW Cup side Auckland Vulcans.

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see also
Harris upbeat over ground-share
12 Jan 10 |  Crusaders
Thackray signs new Hull FC deal
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Crusaders complete double signing
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Mason turns down Crusaders offer
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Crusaders snap up Australian duo
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Crusaders 'missed out' on players
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Crusaders' move 'may cause anger'
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Crusaders move to save Wrexham FC
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Crusaders recruit half-back Witt
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Crusaders sign ex-Hull hooker Lee
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