Championship 1 Preview: North Wales Crusaders v Gloucestershire All Golds

North Wales Crusaders prop Simon Stephens is suspended for Sunday’s Kingstone Press Championship One match against the Gloucestershire All Golds, while Jamie Durbin is a major doubt with a hamstring injury.

However, North Wales coach Clive Griffiths has an otherwise fully fit squad.

He said: “We’re very fortunate that we’ve got a big complement of front rowers, given Simon’s suspension.”

Griffiths has warned his men against any hint of complacency as they prepare to face a Gloucestershire team still searching for its first league win of the season.

Griffiths said: “It’s classic top v bottom. If you underestimate anybody you get burned badly, and we won’t be underestimating them in any shape or form. I coached a number of their players in the Wales Students team.

“It’s a game we must win and a game people expect us to win. We’re in a good position now, and it’s a different kind of pressure that we’re facing.”

He added: “Gloucestershire aren’t a new team, but it’s a new standard for them.

“They’re keen and enthusiastic, they try to play with pace and width, and they’ve got some good individuals.

“We’ll have to watch Tyla Hepi – he’s one of the leaders of the ship. We know how important it is to keep our momentum going.”

All Golds coach Brad Hepi has warned his team they must improve after last week’s 54-10 defeat by Rochdale Hornets.

Hepi said: “We need to step up our levels of enthusiasm and commitment in the second half, but that didn’t happen.”

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