Halifax prop Luke Ambler has no regrets about the decision that could have ended up costing him a place at Wembley tomorrow afternoon.
Leeds Rhinos take on Wigan in the Carnegie Challenge Cup final, a game the Ireland international - who has spent the bulk of this season with Fax on a dual-registration deal from the Headingley giants - made himself ineligible for after opting to play for Karl Harrison’s side in a fourth-round tie at Leigh in April.
And while Ambler, who will leave Leeds at the end of the season to take up a two-year deal at the Shay, knows he would have been at long-odds to figure in boss Brian McDermott’s line up, he insists he never gave his choice a second thought.
“I’ve no regrets; I am a Halifax fan and it meant a lot to me to play for my hometown club in that game (at Leigh),” said the former Ovenden junior.
“My old coach at Leeds, Brian McClennan, always talked to me about enjoying the journey and I’ve really enjoyed my journey with Halifax this year.
“If you worry too much about what might be or what could have been, you end up missing out on the here and now.
“I am still a Leeds player and I hope they get the job done tomorrow, but my focus is on having a strong end to the year with Halifax now.”
Ambler will not be in London this weekend, having turned down the chance to travel with the Rhinos squad in favour of a more low-key build up to nextSunday’s final Co-operative Championship fixture against Batley at the Shay.
“I still train over there during the week and I could have travelled down with them and been part of the occasion,” he said.
“I’ve been through that experience half a dozen times now though, for World Club Challenges and Grand Finals, and I feel like I’ve been there and done it.
“It’s good to take in the atmosphere and have a beer with them after the game, but the next few weeks are about what happens with Halifax.
“I felt it was more important to take a complete break from rugby, because we have a fairly intense month coming up with the play offs.
“I’m going up to the Lakes for a few days, switching my phone off, and just trying to relax.”
Chris Hill will be one of the first names on Warrington coach Tony Smith’s team sheet for tomorrow’s Carnegie Challenge Cup final, but the former Leigh player still has to pinch himself to make sure it is happening.
“You have to pinch yourself, coming to a big club like this,” Hill said.
“I said at the beginning of the year I wanted to play every week but it wasn’t reality then.”