ESL ESL - Championship - News and Views

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Cornwall will be hoping to secure silverware in their first ever professional rugby league match on Saturday.

Neil Kelly's side will be making their debut in League 1 away to North Wales Crusaders in Colwyn Bay.

As well as league points, the team will also be competing for the Celtic Shield.

The two sides, along with fellow League 1 club West Wales Raiders, will be competing for the trophy.

Saturday's winners at Eirias Park will receive the shield, which will be in their possession until they next play another of the Celtic sides.

"The Celtic Shield is a fantastic initiative between the Celtic clubs of the Rugby Football League," Cornwall RLFC president Eric Perez said.

"This new challenge shield will help to create a rivalry and camaraderie between the three clubs."

Crusaders withstood a late fightback at Rochdale Hornets to win in their opening game of the season 36-34.

Cornwall, formed in November 2021, were without a game in the opening round of the season.
 

S J

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Rugby has long been a passion for the people of Cornwall.

The county side has a proud history and clubs like Cornish Pirates, Redruth and Launceston have all produced players that have gone on to bigger and better things.

But that has all been in rugby union. On Saturday the first-ever professional rugby league side from the county will be making their debut in League One - the third tier of the English game.

"I went to university and was first introduced to the sport there," says Cornwall hooker Sam Gilder, who had played union in his native St Austell until he moved away.

"I fell in love with it from the first session. It was after the first year's welcome fair and they went 'we've got a game on Wednesday if you fancy it', I went 'go on then, I'll have a crack at a bit of rugby league'.

"So when the opportunity came along and I got the phone call to say 'we've got a team in Cornwall, we want you to sign' I went 'where do I sign?' I was speechless.

And they will be long - Cornwall will do just short of 6,500 miles on the road this year going to places such as Hunslet, Swinton and Doncaster.

Their longest trip will to Keighley is 388 miles each way, and even their shortest journey - a 251-mile one-way trip to Midlands Hurricanes - is still the best part of six hours on a bus from their home ground in Penryn.

Cornwall's first taste of such travels will come on their 384 mile each way journey to North Wales Crusaders' Eirias Stadium home in Colwyn Bay for their 17:30 BST kick off on Saturday, 2 April.
 

S J

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Feb 2, 2013
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Rugby has long been a passion for the people of Cornwall.

The county side has a proud history and clubs like Cornish Pirates, Redruth and Launceston have all produced players that have gone on to bigger and better things.

But that has all been in rugby union. On Saturday the first-ever professional rugby league side from the county will be making their debut in League One - the third tier of the English game.

"I went to university and was first introduced to the sport there," says Cornwall hooker Sam Gilder, who had played union in his native St Austell until he moved away.

"I fell in love with it from the first session. It was after the first year's welcome fair and they went 'we've got a game on Wednesday if you fancy it', I went 'go on then, I'll have a crack at a bit of rugby league'.

"So when the opportunity came along and I got the phone call to say 'we've got a team in Cornwall, we want you to sign' I went 'where do I sign?' I was speechless.

And they will be long - Cornwall will do just short of 6,500 miles on the road this year going to places such as Hunslet, Swinton and Doncaster.

Their longest trip will to Keighley is 388 miles each way, and even their shortest journey - a 251-mile one-way trip to Midlands Hurricanes - is still the best part of six hours on a bus from their home ground in Penryn.

Cornwall's first taste of such travels will come on their 384 mile each way journey to North Wales Crusaders' Eirias Stadium home in Colwyn Bay for their 17:30 BST kick off on Saturday, 2 April.

They didn't fair to well in their first game.
 

S J

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The biggest rugby league crowd at Stebonheath Park in over 63 years saw a classic game of rugby league as Wales U16s beat England Lions 22-14.

It was the first four-figure rugby league crowd in Llanelli since the 2000 World Cup when Wales beat Lebanon at Stradey Park, and the highest at Stebonheath since 1959, when 3,593 saw Wales against St Helens in a promotional tour match.

It was also just the second time Wales have beaten England at under 16 level, the other time being a victory over their full academy side in 2017.