North Wales Crusaders coach Mike Grady has praised the versatility of new signing Brett Whitehead.

Grady was impressed with Whitehead’s display against the Cru, while the player was on-loan at Hemel Stags last season.

After acquiring the player from Division One rivals Hunslet, Grady insists Whitehead can be an asset to the Wrexham club next term.

He said: “I'm pleased to add Brett to our squad for the 2018 season. He had a great game against us down at Hemel, and is solid in both attack and defence and will give everything for the full 80 minutes. 

“Brett is the type of player we want at Crusaders, he wants to be here and is excited about the challenge ahead. 

“He comes highly recommended to me by Director of Rugby at Hunslet, Darren Williams, and ex-Hemel coach Troy Perkins.”

Grady was similarly enthused by the re-signing of prop forward Joe Bate, who became the eighth Cru player  to pen a new one-year-deal.

"Joe is another great re-signing for the club, his aggressive style of play has got us on the front foot on many occasions,”said Grady. "Since he came in half way through last season he has established himself as a regular on the team sheet.

"Joe will go from strength to strength next year and will once again play a key part throughout the year.”

The Crusaders have lost the services of Earl Hurst after the centre joined Championship side Rochdale Hornets.

Hurst revealed his delight at securing a ‘dream’ move and his amazement at his rapid progression in the sport.

He said: “Four years ago I was playing on a muddy field in the middle of a council estate, and now I’m stepping up to Championship level.”