North Wales Crusaders have made clear their intent to challenge in League One with the re-signing of key player Jack Houghton, whilst Cornwall have also extended their captain Jamie Prisk as both teams from far beyond the heartlands get set for 2023.
Crusaders will head into 2023 as the only Welsh club in the top three leagues after the sad situation at West Wales Raiders became news earlier this week, Raiders announcing their inability to compete in the 2023 season effectively ending their five year stint at the top levels of the sport.
As such League one will now be a 10 team league and Crusaders will aim to put themselves right in the mix following this extension, having come third last year, whilst fellow League One side Cornwall will aim to avoid a last place finish, after finishing 10th in 2022 just ahead of West Wales.
Cornwall will aim to do so by also extending one of their key players with Jamie Prisk being confirmed as staying until at least the end of the season.
𝐉𝐀𝐌𝐈𝐄 𝐏𝐑𝐈𝐒𝐊 𝐑𝐄-𝐒𝐈𝐆𝐍𝐒 〓〓
✍️ We are delighted to announce that Jamie Prisk has signed a new contract.
🤝 He will remain with Cornwall RLFC for the 2023 @Betfred League 1 campaign.
⬇️ Full story
— Cornwall RLFC (@CornwallRLFC) December 24, 2022
The 29-year-old Prisk actually skippered Cornwall in their first ever professional match, which came against Crusaders at the start of the season, and now he’ll aim to improve on the Choughs debut season.
“I am absolutely buzzing and really looking forward to next year,” Prisk told the club’s website.
“Last year was a venture into the great unknown for myself and the club although now, after a season under our collective belts, we are in a much better place.
“There will be no sting in the tail in terms of what we will face in League 1 although we are under no illusions that it will once again be a tough campaign.
“One thing that will really help us is that because we have a lot longer to prepare for 2023 compared to 2022, the boys will be much more together as a group.
Meanwhile for Crusaders they’ll be looking at the top half of the table as they aim for promotion and the extension of Houghton is something that will massively aid that cause.
Houghton will now aim to reach 100 appearances for the Welsh side, something Crusaders have tweeted is set to happen “if all goes to plan”.
Houghton aiming to hit 100
Jack Houghton has become the latest player to commit to Crusaders for 2023. Jack has 100 appearances in his sights for Crusaders and will hit that figure if all goes to plan in the upcoming season. #OurTime #RugbyLeague pic.twitter.com/JiSekRtsaB
— North Wales Crusaders (@NWCrusaders) December 24, 2022
The second-rower said: “I couldn’t see myself playing anywhere else. I love playing for the club and the fans have looked after me all these years.
“I’m due to make my 100th appearance for the club this year which will be such a proud moment. I can’t wait to get going.”
With the invincible Keighley Cougars no longer in the league having gained promotion League One looks very open and the re-signing of Houghton is huge if Crusaders are to challenge again.
In a week tarnished with the sad news of West Wales dropping out of the league, it’s good to see that the game is still seeing investment in those areas which is something that will only serve to develop our game.