IT'S a long old campaign for the North Wales Crusaders!

Still more than a month away from their first spot of League 1 action this season, the Crusaders are back in action in the Challenge Cup tomorrow versus Hunslet.

"I would say it feels like we have been in pre-season forever!" admitted Crusaders' head coach Anthony Murray.

"We started back at the end of November... and it does feel like a bit of a long one, but it is what it is.

"We do try to keep that balance of not doing too much too early."

Victories versus Leigh Miners and Swinton Lions have set up the tie with Hunslet, which will be played across the border in Caldy.

"It would have been nice to play at Eirias Park, it's a fantastic stadium," added Murray.

"We have tried to make it a bit of a fortress.

"But it's good to take the game elsewhere.

"It's a big rugby union area around Caldy and hopefully we can generate a bit of interest.

"We're looking forward to it and they're great facilities at Caldy."

Murray is anticipating a tough test tomorrow - as is Crusaders' scrum half Brad Billsborough.

"It's going to be physical. It's going to be quick," he said.

"I've had a few good battles with them already.

"They always come with the right attitude and Alan (Kilshaw) is a good coach.

"They're going to throw the ball around."

Hunslet head coach Alan Kilshaw wants his side to attack more tomorrow.

Speaking after their third round win, Kilshaw told the club's website: “Our goal-line defence was very good, especially on Siddal’s left, which we’d highlighted as something of a threat, while we targeted their left edge in attack, and that’s where most of our six tries were scored.

"For all that, though, our attacking game still isn’t where we want it to be and that’s something we’ll continue to work on ahead of our fourth round tie at North Wales Crusaders. We need to take smarter options.”

Alex Eckley (back), Jack Houghton (ankle) and Gav Rodden are likely to be out for the Crusaders, as is talisman Rob Massam, who suffered a finger injury at Swinton in the last round.

All the other fourth round ties take place on Sunday, with Royal Navy looking to spring a surprise at Batley Bulldogs

Doncaster host Whitehaven while Rochdale Hornets are at home to Barrow Raiders and Bradford Bulls visit London Broncos.

Other ties: Hunslet Club Parkside v Sheffield Eagles; Workington Town v Dewsbury Rams; Halifax Panthers v Featherstone Rovers; York City Knights v Newcastle Thunder.