NORTH Wales Crusaders' Dan Coates will be renewing rivalries on Sunday as he could be in contention of facing his former club.

The 24-year-old enjoyed two spells with Newcastle Thunder where he made a total of 17 appearances.

Crusaders will be hosting Newcastle tomorrow looking to make it three wins out of three in League One.

Reflecting on his time in the North East, Coates recalls his very first memory when he was playing in the U14/U15s Scholarship.

"They weren't even called Newcastle; they were called North East Thunder!" he said.

"I later progressed through into the U19s where I played with a lot of lads who are still playing for Newcastle or are still in the game today, which is nice to see.

"Being from Durham, rugby league isn't really a popular sport with rugby union and football being what everyone wants to do up there."

Coates added: "Even though Newcastle Thunder are experiencing some difficulties at the minute, there is so much talent and I think it's extremely important there is a team in the North East."

Coates made his League One debut against Cornwall last month, scoring a try which helped North Wales Crusaders pick up their first victory in a 40-16 outcome.

"I think we've had a good start, two wins out of two, obviously there is always room for improvement, but I think it's going to take us a few games for us to gel, especially in my position, being a new player it's going to take time for me to get used to how people play," said Coates.

The standoff featured in the win against Midlands Hurricanes and he continued: "I think in general the entire squad is very committed to getting better every week, and I can see us going far in this competition, and perhaps surprising a few people along the away."

Meanwhile, Newcastle Thunder come into this game with two defeats in the league so far but they will take heart in their performance against Workington Town last weekend, which saw them lead 18-12 at half-time.

Coates said: "I don't think we can under estimate Newcastle Thunder, as we seen they are getting better each week.

"We need to be professional and do the little things well and we should have enough to get the job done.

"We've targeted this block of fixtures for three wins out of three and that's what we'll get if we come with the right attitude."

Coates is enjoying life at Colwyn Bay, and is enjoying the responsibility of playing a pivotal position within in the team.

"It comes with added pressure, but I've embraced it after 12 months of no rugby

"Its all been down to how this group of lads have welcomed me and I think we are a really tight knit group now.

"That's always good and it will show in the latter end of the season when we have to dig deep to get results.

"Cru is really a good club and I'm looking forward to the rest of the season starting with Sunday."