Although he did not get a chance in the Test series with New Zealand scrum-half Luke Gale reckons his game will benefit from his experience in the England camp and he can use it to good effect back with Castleford Tigers.
Gale is looking to build on an impressive first season with the Tigers when he was selected in the Dream Team for the first time and won the Albert Goldthorpe Medal and believes he is capable of further improvement.
He said: “Although I didn’t get to pull the shirt on I was still training with the best and getting coached by the best. I think it has helped me.
“It does give you that sense of confidence, so I am looking forward to this season.
“There probably will be a bit of pressure on me, but I don’t mind that.
“I put pressure on myself to achieve anyway. Hopefully I can kick on.
“I want to nail that England spot. I was disappointed not getting a game and that has spurred me on a bit more.
“It has made me a bit more hungry.
“I will be looking for an even bigger season and to cement that international place come the end of the year.”
Gale has been back in full pre-season with Cas for a month after reporting back later due to his England involvement and is impressed with the work that has been done by his team-mates.
He said: “I missed the hard bit of pre-season - the first few weeks - and I’ve come back raring to go.
“I came back three weeks after the rest of the boys and they have ripped in.
“They are looking really good, they’ve made me feel a bit slow and sluggish, to be honest.
“It is all going really well and we’re expecting a big season.”
Gale and his team-mates are now heading to Lanzarote for a warm weather training camp and he reckons it will really help their preparations for the Super League season to come.
He added: “It’s not something Castleford have done for the last few years, so I think it will be really beneficial.
“The warm weather does sharpen your skills up. We know what it’s like training over here, it has been raining for the last month it feels like, so the boys are looking forward to the good weather.
“Hopefully we will have a good camp and get a bit out of it.”