THE new signings keep rolling in from the perspective of the North Wales Crusaders.

It’s already been a busy off-season for the Colwyn Bay-based club and the Crusaders have further bolstered their ranks ahead of the 2024 League One campaign.

The latest acquisition is loose forward Louis Else, who has penned a one-year-deal ahead of the forthcoming season.

Else has been recruited from the amateur game and he arrives at the Crusaders from Leigh East, where he enjoyed stints as captain and vice captain. The 26-year-old was an ever-present last season and he was the vice captain of the Leigh East team that made it all the way through to the NCL final, where he scored a try.

Else has represented Lancashire at under-18s level and he was also voted as players’ player of the year at the club’s end of season awards, in addition to picking up the player of the year accolade.

New signing Else told the North Wales Crusaders’ website: “Carl Forster approached me to come down to training and I have loved every minute of it so far.”

Cru head coach Forster added: “I’m really happy that Louis has decided to step up and give it a real good go.

“He’s been outstanding in training and put his best foot forward every session.

“You can see the improvements already in his skill set since his first session with us, and I’m looking forward to working with him this year.”

A pair of tasty home clashes will begin the competitive 2024 season for the North Wales Crusaders later this month.

The opening fixtures of the new-look AB Sundecks 1895 Cup will see Forster’s League One side looking forward to home matches versus Championship opposition.

The action gets underway at Colwyn Bay’s Stadiwm CSM on January 28 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.

A long away day will open the 2024 League One season for the North Wales Crusaders.

Forster will take his side south to tackle Cornwall on March 24.

Cornwall will complete the regular season for the Crusaders as they head to Colwyn Bay’s Stadiwm CSM on September 1.

The first home game of the season will be versus Midlands Hurricanes on Easter Sunday, while April will open with some real tests for the Crusaders as they tackle the two sides who were relegated from the Championship last season. On April 7, Forster’s men will welcome Newcastle Thunder and this is followed seven days later by a trip to west Yorkshire to tackle Keighley Cougars. A testing month will draw to a close with a home clash versus Rochdale Hornets (April 21) and an away contest versus Hunslet (April 28).