What a finish to a fantastic year it promises to be for Castleford Tigers playmaker Luke Gale.
In 2017 the Tigers star has been named Man of Steel, won the Albert Goldthorpe Medal and only last week was awarded the Parliamentary Rugby League Group’s player of the year.
The 29-year-old scrum-half collected more honours by being part of the League Leaders’ Shield winning team, he played in his first Super League Grand Final and now is preparing to play in his first World Cup final.
For all of his England team-mates it will be a first on Saturday with the country set for its first appearance in a World Cup final since 1995.
After narrowly overcoming Tonga 20-18 in their semi-final England are looking to make history as no previous side under the England name has won the competition. Great Britain sides have won it three times, but the last time was way back in 1972.
Cas star Gale has played in every England game in the 2017 World Cup and has been selected again at number seven for the final in Brisbane with the England 17 showing just one change from last week with Chris Heighington coming in on the bench as hooker Josh Hodgson is out injured.
Gale is excited at the prospect of what is to come on Saturday, having previously described it as a dream game that would be the highlight of his career so far.
He said: “Can’t say how proud I am to be part of this England squad.
“We have to be better this week, but I do feel like we’re getting there. I’m sure the boys will be ready.”
Gale was just seven the last time England were in the final.
“I’ll have just been kicking a ball around on the street with my mates back then,” he said.
“I think I’d just started actually playing for Middleton Marauders in a shirt five times too big for me.”