King and the Queen
MATT King's rugby league odyssey to the United Kingdom has ended in disappointment after his Warrington Wolves team was knocked out in the semi-finals of the English Super League.
Wolves were defeated by the Leeds Rhinos 26-24, ending the former Casino junior's four-year stint in the Super League.
He will return to play for the South Sydney Rabbitohs in the NRL next season. It's been an action-packed career for King since he joined the Wolves.
He had a difficult first season, including a run-in with his own crowd, before settling in to really make his mark and becoming a favourite at the club.
Wolves and King won a Challenge Cup final and the centre was involved in the Exiles representative team which played England earlier this year.
A Super League premiership would have completed the 31-year-old's impressive resume, which already includes an NRL premiership with Melbourne and State of Origin and Australian representation.
While the Wolves, who are coached by another former Casino junior Tony Smith, fell just short of a grand final berth, King's time in England won't be wasted.
He has been invited, along with Smith, to a reception with the Queen at Buckingham Palace ahead of the Queen's tour of Australia.
The reception is for Australians who have succeeded in their chosen fields in the UK and will be held next week. King's family is bemused by the renowned larrikin being invited to be involved in the pomp and circumstance of the palace.
"We all thought his email to tell us about the visit was a gee up," laughed King's mother Narelle.
"To have two Casino boys off to visit the Queen is amazing. We don't know how he was picked.
"The funny thing is his wife is not allowed into the reception. So Kirsten will be left at the gates with the video camera."
It's been a big few months for King off the football field.
He and his wife welcomed baby Charlie, a daughter, into the world a few months ago.
And his hybrid cricket bat/tennis racquet invention will be on sale in Rebel Sports Stores before Christmas.