North Wales Crusaders head coach Anthony Murray can’t wait to see what his squad have learned during pre-season when they take to the field for the first time in 406 days at Hunslet on Sunday.

The trip to Hunslet will begin Crusaders’ pre-season schedule as they prepare for the start of the League 1 campaign at London Skolars in early May.

While North Wales have been training for a couple of months now, Murray was finally be able to see his side in action.

“More than anything, I’m looking forward to getting back to some normality and what we all know,” he said.

“It’s going to be great to get back to the day-to-day business of rugby league and seeing the lads doing what they love.

“They’re all chomping at the bit to get started and, while there may be a few sore bodies come Monday morning after such a long time away, I’m sure they’ll all have a smile on their faces.”

Like with any pre-season campaign, Murray will be more intrested in how his squad have developed and giving people an opportunity than anything else.

“We know Hunslet’s a tough place to go so that’s why we arranged the friendly,” he said.

“I’ll be looking at different aspects – if they’re fit, looking sharp, working on areas we’ve focused on and forming good combinations.

“Whatever the result is, we won’t be dwelling on it too much as it’s more about how we’re looking ahead of the new season.

“You don’t get any consistency when you’re swapping and changing on the day and it’s not really fair on the lads.

“I want them to get as many minutes under their belts as possible so there’ll be a lot of changes between the two friendlies.

“Some of the lads will double up at Hunslet and Rochdale, but I want to take a look at two different 13-man teams over a longer period of time.

“It’s all about giving the lads good game time and seeing them in different systems with different combinations.”

NWC Rugby League