They represented Crusaders a fortnight ago but now South Wales Scorpions’ trio Joe Burke, Dalton Grant and Aled James are looking forward to getting back into action in Neath when the Scorpions take on Doncaster this Sunday (kick-off 3pm).
All three took to the field in Crusaders’ defeat to Hull Kingston Rovers after seven of their players were suspended for disciplinary reasons, and the Scorpions loanees were all given glowing references by Crusaders and Wales coach Iestyn Harris.
And they all say that they have learned a lot that they can take back to the Scorpions as their side goes into three home matches in a row.
“I really enjoyed playing for Crusaders that week but it really showed me what the step up from Championship 1 to Super League is like,” said Aled James, who made his 23rd Crusaders appearance a fortnight ago.
“It’s a totally different game. Everything is a higher standard, from the playing to the refereeing. It’s everyone’s aim to get there. It was a great honour to have the opportunity to play Super League again and I know that Joe and Dalton felt the same. I’d be willing to help out again if needed.”
“It was really good,” said Burke, who won his first cap for Wales last year. “Everybody was really welcoming and while the change of pace was tough, the players and coaches in Wrexham got us up to speed for what they needed us to do.
“As for improving my game, it’s all about the stuff that I normally don’t notice. The speed of the game in Super League is so much faster. I knew it was of course but I didn’t realise just how much. You have to experience it to know what it’s like.”
Grant, like Burke, enjoyed making his Super League debut, despite not getting too much of a chance to prove himself, but is now looking forward to getting back into Championship 1 action and improving his try tally.
The winger has scored 10 tries in nine Scorpions appearances this year and would love to increase that rate this Sunday against Doncaster.
“It’s a big game for us this Sunday,” he said. “A win would set us up nicely and we do need those points on the board and with the match being free entry for kids, hopefully we’ll get a good crowd.
“I’m always pleased to score tries but it’s a team game and as long as we get the win and I play well, any tries that I may score are a bonus. We just need to get the right result.
“I know I didn’t get a chance to do much in the Crusaders game but Iestyn said he was happy with our contributions. It was a great experience and I hope it won’t be my last.”
To buy tickets for all of the Scorpions’ last three home matches of the season, which starts with this Sunday’s game at The Gnoll against Doncaster (kick-off 3pm), click here to go www.scorpionsrl.com or call 01443 843737 and press option 1 to order over the phone.