Wigan Warriors youngster Joe Baldwin has joined North Wales Crusaders for the 2024 season.
The loose forward came from Orrell St James before he signed professionally for Wigan Warriors in 2019.
Baldwin has honours for Lancashire as he represented them at U18s level. On his move to North Wales Crusaders, the young talent commented: “(I’m) really excited to have signed with the club, after four years at Wigan I’m ready for the challenge of proving myself at men’s grade rugby.
“The coaching staff and how well the club did last year was a big factor for me joining the club.
“I’m hoping the lads can go that one step further this year and secure promotion as well as developing my own game under Carl Forster and Stu.”
Carl Forster, head coach at North Wales Crusaders, said: “Joe is a real talent, he’s come in and looked really sharp at nine.
“You can tell he’s come from a Wigan system, he’s a real competitor in everything he does in training.
“He can play nine and middle so he gives us good versatility in the pack. I’m excited to see him develop in a Crusaders shirt.”
North Wales Crusaders have also secured the services of 29 year old Jack Holmes until the end of the 2024 season.
The former Oldham and Rochdale star joined North Wales Crusaders in 2021 and since then has had three solid seasons collectively making 38 appearances, scoring 7 tries and kicking 3 goals.
Holmes is a utility player having played in several positions such as wing, centre, full back and half back.
The former Salford product said: “I’m really pleased to have signed for Crusaders again this season.
“Every year I’ve been here we seem to be going that one step further. I’m looking forward to contributing to hopefully another successful year.
“Both the home and away following from the fans is unbelievable, it really doesn’t go unnoticed by the lads.”
Head coach Carl Forster said “Jacks a top utility player who adds depth in many positions, this year is about finding Jack’s best position and him making it his own. He’s got a real top skill set on him and knows how to play the game how we want to.”
The Crusaders are pushing for a return to the Championship after making it all the way from sixth place to the League One play-off final in 2023, falling short to eventual winners Doncaster in an 18-6 loss.