The result may not have gone England’s way last Saturday, but Castleford Tigers half-back Luke Gale enjoyed his first taste of Ladbrokes Four Nations rugby and admits he is living his dream right now.
After winning his first cap against France in the warm-up game, Gale was chosen at scrum-half for the opening Four Nations game against New Zealand and helped set up two England tries.
Gale was obviously disappointed with the eventual 17-16 result going in the favour of the Kiwis, but pleased to have played his first competitive international.
He said: “I have dreamed of this since being a little boy.
“I want to kick on now and take it to the next level.
“I am loving my role at seven. Obviously it’s a bit different to your club football. It’s the first time I’ve been involved with the boys and I am learning different combinations so that’s going to be tough, but I am really enjoying it.
“We could have been smarter, but we will dust ourselves off and go again. If you lose you have got to learn something from it.
“I think we will learn a lot from that one.”
Gale felt England could count themselves unfortunate to lose their opening Four Nations game.
He added: “I think we’ve got to take a lot from it.
“The result didn’t go our way, but I thought we were the best team for long periods of that game.
“We started off really well, they scrambled well as international teams do.
“The first 20 minutes were really good and the last 20 minutes of the first half I can’t remember getting the ball.
“They got a late try and the start of the second half didn’t go our way as well.
“I didn’t think we were the smartest, but there’s a lot of positives we can take.
“The effort was outstanding. I don’t know how many repeat sets they had, but our goal line D was outstanding. There was one point in it at the end and we gifted them maybe a couple of tries.”