A PAIR of tasty home clashes will begin the competitive 2024 season for the North Wales Crusaders.

The opening fixtures of the new-look AB Sundecks 1895 Cup have been confirmed and Carl Forster’s League One Crusaders can look forward to home matches versus Championship opposition.

The action gets underway at Colwyn Bay’s Stadiwm CSM on January 28, 2024 when Swinton Lions are the visitors.

Then, on February 18, Widnes Vikings will be Crusaders’ opponents.

Vikings finished the last Championship campaign in ninth position, one spot ahead of Swinton, who only ended up two points above the relegation zone.

Swinton will host Vikings in the group’s other match on February 4.

In a revamp for the competition, the 13 England-based Championship clubs are joined by eight League One clubs in seven groups of three teams, with the top team in each group – plus the best-performing second-placed team – going forward to the quarter finals.

Holders Halifax Panthers, who held off a late comeback by Batley Bulldogs to win 12-10 at Wembley Stadium in the final last August, begin their title defence with a trip to Boundary Park to face Oldham on January 28.

Crusaders will begin their League One campaign with a trip to Cornwall on March 24.