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Tyne To Shine For Coates

North Wales Crusaders' Dan Coates will be renewing rivalries on Sunday as he faces the possibility of coming up against his former side when Newcastle Thunder arrive in Colwyn Bay on Sunday.

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

Reflecting on his time in the North East, Coates recalls his very first memory when he was playing in the under 15's scholarship: "They weren't even called Newcastle, they were called North East Thunder at that point.

"I later progressed through into the under 19's 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 are experiencing some difficulties at the moment, there is so much talent, and I think it's extremely important there is a team in the North East."

Dan Coates made his League One debut against Cornwall, scoring a try which helped North Wales Crusaders pick up there first victory of the 2024 season.

"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."

The stand-off featured in the win against Midlands Hurricanes last weekend and 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, perhaps surprising a few people along the away.

Newcastle Thunder enter Sunday's clash with two defeats in the league so far, but will take heart in their performance against Workington Town last weekend, which saw them lead 18-12 at half time.

Touching on his former team, Coates said: "I don't think we can under estimate Newcastle, as we have seen they are getting better each week.

"We need to be professional and do the little things well, and if we do that then 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."

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

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

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

Tickets for Sunday's clash against Newcastle are on sale now and can be purchased by clicking HERE.


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