South Wales Scorpions’ second row forward Neil Dallimore can’t wait to be on the home side at Cardiff Arms Park after a 12-year absence when South Wales Scorpions take on a Warrington Wolves XIII this Friday (kick-off 7.30pm).
Dallimore went through the ranks at Cardiff RFC as a junior before playing at the then highest level of rugby union in Wales for Caerphilly in the Premiership before the start of the regions. He went on to play for Newport, Bedwas and Llanharan before giving Rugby League a go last year for the first time.
Now aged 29, Dallimore, who was a success last year making 19 appearances for the Scorpions and scoring four tries, is going into only his second season as a Rugby League player and he can’t wait for the season to start.
“It’ll be great to play at the Arms Park again,” he said. “I’m looking forward to it as it’s a long time since I’ve played there. I was 17 when I left Cardiff RFC so it was some time ago. I played for their schools sides and up to Cardiff under 17s.
“It’s a great rugby stadium. I’ve watched a lot of famous rugby union games there and I also remember watching Wales v England in Rugby League at the Arms in 1996 so it’ll be good to play a game of Rugby League there.”
Friday night’s game is a precursor to Millennium Magic where seven engage Super League games over two days launch the 2011 season next door to the Arms Park at the Millennium Stadium.
“It’s good for Cardiff to have Millennium Magic back after two years away,” said Dallimore. “There’s a lot of big games, they’re all derbies. I’ve always been a St Helens fan so I’m looking forward to Wigan v St Helens on Saturday night and it’ll be good to see some of the boys who played for us last year turn out for the Crusaders against Salford on Sunday.”
The Warrington fixture is the Scorpions’ first friendly of the year with the season proper kicking off in March and Dallimore believes that the Scorpions can improve on last year’s sixth placed finish that earned them a play-off spot.
“We did well last year and people talk about us not being a surprise any more but I think nobody’s going to be a surprise to us this year either,” he said. “So I think we can go on and do better. We’re more experienced, we’re stronger and we’ve had a good pre-season. Our new coach Aled James has been great coming up with a lot of new ideas. Conditioning has been hard but it’s been good for our fitness for when we start playing.”