Patrick Ah Van signs up to play 19th season as veteran winger re-joins former club

Drew Darbyshire
Patrick Ah Van North Wales Crusaders Alamy

Patrick Ah Van in action for North Wales Crusaders in 2022 - Alamy

Former Samoa international Patrick Ah Van will play his 19th season in 2024 after re-joining League 1 side North Wales Crusaders.

The 35-year-old returns to the Welsh club after spending the 2023 campaign with Oldham, where he scored 15 tries in 19 appearances.

Ah Van, who won five caps for Samoa in 2009, spent two seasons at Crusaders between 2021 and 2022, scoring 22 tries in 44 games.

On the re-signing of Ah Van, Crusaders coach Carl Forster said: “This type of signing is unbelievable for our club.

“Pat showed his quality against us last season and we are made up to have him back in the Cru colours.

“His experience will be so valuable for the younger guys in our group.

“He’s a quality player and will bring so much to the group on and off the field.

“I’m really excited to be working with him.”

Experienced winger Patrick Ah Van to enter 18th season in 2024

2024 will mark Ah Van’s 18th season in the professional game, having made his first-grade debut in the NRL for New Zealand Warriors back in 2006.

The New Zealand-born flier went on to score 16 tries in 54 games for the Warriors between 2006 and 2010 before making the switch to England with Bradford Bulls in 2011.

Ah Van spent one season at Odsal, scoring 12 tries and kicking 97 goals in 28 appearances for the Bulls, who were in Super League at the time.

Arguably his moment memorable stint came at Widnes Vikings, where he quickly became a fan favourite, going on to play eight seasons for the club between 2012 and 2019.

Ah Van made a total of 123 appearances for the Vikings, scoring 95 tries and kicking 73 goals, racking up more than 500 points for the Cheshire club in the process.

After featuring a couple of times for Crusaders via dual-registration and a spell in the French Elite 2 Championship with Villegailhenc-Aragon XIII, Ah Van made his move to North Wales permanent in 2021, spending two seasons at the club.

He made the move back to England with Oldham in 2023, playing his final game for the Roughyeds in their 13-12 League 1 play-off defeat against Crusaders.

And in 2024 he will return to Wales to play his 19th season as a professional rugby league player after penning a one-year deal with Forster’s side.

In total, Ah Van has scored 162 tries and kicked 190 goals in 274 career appearances.

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