McLelland happy to be back home in Rugby League
Englands Callum McLelland on the attack
Last Saturday, England Academy star Callum McLelland helped the national side to victory in the First Test against the Australian Schoolboys in just his second game back in Rugby League after his summer switch from Scotland Rugby Union to Leeds Rhinos.
A year ago, McLelland had left his home town of Castleford and moved to Edinburgh to begin a career in Rugby Union but the chance to return to the thirteen-man-code came about in August. With the transfer deadline having already passed, he was unable to play for Leeds at the end of the season but he was able to train with his new club and returned to action for Yorkshire against the Australian Schoolboys a fortnight ago at Castleford. He admits getting that game under his belt was a big help for last Saturday’s first test.
He revealed, “It is crazy when I think about it, to win a Test against the Australian Schoolboys in only my second game back in League and represent my country was something special. The game for Yorkshire was great, especially as I got the man of the match, that gave my confidence a boost. Things have come back as second nature and we have gelled well as a team.
“Saturday’s result was the best win I have ever experienced, people had us down as a loss beforehand but we knew what we had to do and executed it well. Any test match is hard but that was extra hard. They are renowned as the best in the world and we need to look to go again on Friday,” added the 19-year-old.
The victory reinforced with McLelland that the move to return to Rugby League was the right decision, not that he said he had any doubt. He added, “It has been pretty straight forward coming back because the Rhinos staff have been great with me and that has given me a lift going into the England camp and I feel as good as ever. I knew as soon as I stepped foot back in Leeds especially with Dave Furner and Kevin Sinfield that it was the right move for me. How we train really suits my game and how I approach the game, it has been a dream come true to be back.”
Although he signed for Leeds four months ago, his first game at Emerald Headingley as a Rhino will be this Friday for the second test and he admits it will be a special occasion. He commented, “It would be a highlight of my career so far if I am selected on Friday. Anyone lucky enough to play at Emerald Headingley remembers it forever especially against the Aussies.
“We can definitely improve on last week’s performance. In the first 15 minutes of the second half we were excellent, but we need to keep that up for the full game. Jamie Langley has told us we could be only the third team in history to win a series against the Schoolboys and that is the prize on offer. Hopefully there will be a good crowd there to cheer the boys on. I hope fans from all clubs will come down and see what the stadium is looking like now, it will be a quality game and a really good experience for everyone who enjoys their Rugby League.”
Tickets are just £5 for adults for this Friday’s game at Emerald Headingley and FREE for juniors. You can book your ticket now at tickets.therhinos.co.uk or you will be able to pay on the night.