Karl Ashall says that returning to North Wales Crusaders and reuniting with head coach Anthony Murray was a 'no-brainer'.

The 28-year-old hooker has re-joined the Cru from Championship side Barrow Raiders, after reluctantly leaving the Wrexham club two seasons ago.

Ashall had originally joined Crusaders from Halifax in 2014 and enjoyed a successful spell in North Wales before the Cru's crippling financial issues left players with the choice of taking a pay-cut or seeking a move elsewhere.

"I never wanted to leave the club in the first place", said Ashall.

"I didn't want to go to Barrow or to any other team in the league, I was really happy at Crusaders.

"It was a really difficult time for me because I'd loved the time there I'd spent playing under Muzza and alongside my old team mates.

"He was brilliant with me and the fact that he's since come back to the club was a massive factor in me coming back here.

"I found out a couple of months ago that they wanted me back and it was a no-brainer for me. It's taken a little while, but we've got the deal done now and I've signed up for the next 18 months, which feels great."

Ashall played a key part in Raiders' promotion to the Championship last term, but admits that he grew increasingly frustrated at a lack of first team action this season.

After falling behind vice-captain Nathan Mossop and Dean Parata in the pecking order, he felt the time was right to seek a move elsewhere.

And with his switch from Cumbria now complete, Ashall is desperate to help the Cru improve their current league position of 10th.

He said: "To be honest I fell out of love with the game a bit at Barrow. There were times when you're not involved at all in big matches and it can get to you.

"There's no bad feeling towards Barrow at all, it was just the right time for me to get out of there. My main focus now is to start enjoying my rugby more and playing with a smile on my face again.

"I want to hit the ground running and give it everything for this club, which as far as I'm concerned is in a really good place right now.

"There's a great fanbase here and considering how much money has been spent by some of the teams above us in this league, Muzza's doing a fantastic job given the club's budget.

"I've played away games at Newcastle and know how difficult it is to go there and turn them over like the lads did last weekend.

"Results like that breed confidence and I'm sure a few more like that will see the lads pushing up the league table.

"I want to play my part in helping them achieve that and hopefully I'll be involved this weekend at Oldham."