Young gun Max King has risen from nowhere in season 2017 and whilst not even he may have expected to play as many NRL games as he has this year, he is certainly enjoying the opportunity.

King has played 10 NRL games so far this year and has performed so well he has even secured a starting spot in the lock position.

“It’s been cool,” King said. “I popped into the side and my opportunity came through injury but I’m loving it.”

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This Saturday night when the 20-year-old runs out in the number 13 jersey, he’ll be facing off against arguable one of the great forwards of the game, in Paul Gallen. It will be 295 games of experience against 10 but the Maitland junior won’t be approaching it that way.

“They’re all good players and it’s always a challenge for me. Every team has good players and it’s new to me to be playing against my idols every week.”

Aside from Gallen, there are a host of stars running out for the Sharks and King expects it to be a tough encounter.

“I didn’t play in the Cronulla match earlier in the year but I remember watching it and they line to grind you down a bit. I’ll be preparing mentally to play that type of game.