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Page last updated at 10:04 GMT, Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Crusaders secure Stuart Reardon signing

Stuart Reardon
Stuart Reardon scored four tries for GB in the 2004 Tri Nations series

Iestyn Harris has made former Great Britain winger Stuart Reardon his first signing as Crusaders head coach.

The 29-year-old has signed a one-year-deal from Bradford Bulls despite the Welsh Super League club facing a winding up order from the taxman.

"Stuart brings real quality to the Crusaders squad," said Harris.

Reardon is no stranger to controversy as he avoided jail after admitting an assault on his estranged wife Kay on finding out she was seeing another man.

Deputy district judge Alan Fowler described the assault as "astonishingly frightening" and Reardon was given a 12-week suspended sentence by Bradford magistrates in April 2009.

Reardon's contract with Warrington Wolves was terminated as a result of what happened.

But Harris insists his former Bulls team-mate "is a great professional" and is his first signing since replacing Brian Noble at the Racecourse Ground.

"He's one of the best kick returners in Super League and his versatility means he can play in a number of positions for us," said Harris.

"Stuart's played at the highest level for many years, he's won every major honour in Super League and represented Great Britain which shows the kind of quality player he is.

The opportunity to link up with Iestyn was too good to turn down

Crusaders winger Stuart Reardon

"I've played alongside Stuart and I know what a committed and talented player he can be.

"He is just the type of player you want playing alongside you and I'm delighted that he's joining us here in Wrexham.

"He adds strength to our backline and his arrival will provide extra competition for places."

Reardon's signing eases financial concerns at the Crusaders who will appear at London's Royal Courts of Justice on Wednesday facing a winding up order from Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs over unpaid tax.

But the Welsh franchise have insisted the HMRC "have made an application to dismiss the winding-up order" as the Crusaders "have paid the amount owed to HMRC."

Reardon, a product of the Bradford academy, went to Salford in 2002 but returned to Odsal in 2003 where he won two Grand Finals and a Challenge Cup final in a three-year spell.

Reardon broke into the Great Britain squad in 2004 for the Tri Nations series, scoring four tries, and has also toured Australia and New Zealand with England.

Reardon has joined the Wrexham-based franchise on a 12-month contract to help fill the void created by the departures of Nick Youngquest and Gareth Raynor.

"I'm looking forward to playing at the Racecourse Ground next year and the opportunity to link up with Iestyn was too good to turn down," said Reardon, who has scored 51 tries in 144 appearances in Super League

"The Crusaders did brilliantly last season and I believe the club can do even better next year. This is a club that is going places and I can't wait to start pre-season training."

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see also
Harris in for Noble at Crusaders
08 Nov 10 |  Crusaders
Crusaders struck by redundancies
22 Nov 10 |  Crusaders
Reardon in surprise Bulls return
20 Oct 09 |  Bradford
Rugby stars sentenced for assault
23 Apr 09 |  Bradford
Reardon leaves Hull after 11 days
22 Apr 09 |  Rugby League
Reardon makes surprise Hull move
12 Apr 09 |  Rugby League
Wolves part company with Reardon
09 Apr 09 |  Warrington
Warrington sign Reardon & Barnett
07 Sep 05 |  Warrington
Super League Show
17 Feb 08 |  Rugby League

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