NORTH WALES CRUSADERS will be out to avoid another televised Challenge Cup exit when they visit Rochdale Mayfield on Saturday.

The BBC Sport cameras will broadcast the Cru’s third round clash live from the north west, as they did for the Wrexham club’s fourth-round humbling at amateur side Thatto Heath Crusaders last year.

A shock 16-14 reverse dumped the visitors out of the competition and head coach Anthony Murray is mindful of another upset against National Conference League opposition this weekend.

Asked if the live coverage would put additional pressure on his players, he said: “Of course it does.

“Whenever you play a community club at any stage of this competition it’s always a cup final to them and you know you’re in for a tough game.

“As was the case with Thatto Heath last year, Rochdale have a few players in their squad who could easily play at a semi-professional level but choose not to for one reason or another.

“We’ve certainly learnt from what happened last season and ever since the draw was made we’ve taken this game very seriously and ensured we’ve prepared for it as professionally as possible.

“It’s up to us now to go there and deliver a professional performance. It’s all or nothing in this game and it’s important that the players give the best possible account of themselves.

“We’d love to put a strong run together in the competition this season and hopefully get ourselves a great home draw in the fourth round.”

The new-look Cru made wholesale changes to their squad in the off-season, with the likes of Joey Brady, Jordan Gibson and Gav Rodden making the step up from the amateur ranks to the semi-professional game.

After coming through a testing pre-season schedule against Barrow, Widnes Vikings and Whitehaven, Murray believes his side are in good shape for the new campaign.

“We’re a new team this year and I’m really pleased with how the lads have done in those warm-up games,” Murray added.

“The new lads have had time to settle into the squad and everything’s gelled well so far.

“There’s still really good competition for places and whoever plays this weekend will be looking to keep the shirt for the first league game against Doncaster.”