Callum McLelland targets breakthrough year at Leeds with one eye on World Cup

Callum McLelland hopes to have a big year with Leeds that ensures his selection in Scotland’s squad for the World Cup. 

The 21-year-old half-back has made 11 appearances for the Rhinos since making his first team debut in 2019.

McLelland had surgery on his ankle over the off-season and is currently nursing an ankle injury, but hopes to be fit for the start of the new Super League campaign.

He said: “It (pre-season) has been a different one because I’ve not been able to train as much but its been enjoyable to take a backseat almost and try and get myself right but its nice to see all the younger lads get a shot so its been different but a good experience.

“I just want to try and establish my place in the team. Hopefully this is the year where I can step up and get my shot.

“We are going to try to win every bit of silverware we can this season. We have internationals across the board and we’ve got some very promising young players as well so I think it is going to be a massive year.”

Callum McLelland has made 11 first team appearances for Leeds so far

McLelland was born and raised in England but qualifies to play for Scotland via the family heritage rule.

The promising playmaker had a spell with Scottish Rugby, who have shortened in the rugby World Cup odds  ahead of the next union tournament in 2023, before joining Leeds, and has already won two caps for Scotland’s rugby league team.

McLelland says he would love to represent the Bravehearts at the World Cup, which takes place in England this autumn.

He said: “That’s the plan. Obviously we’ve got a pretty tough group with Australia in there as well but it (the World Cup) is in the back of my mind.

“My grandad on my dad’s side was born in Ayr. He has passed away now but I’ve still got quite a lot of family up in Scotland so whenever I get chance I always try and pop up with my dad and see everyone up there. We always keep in contact over social media and make sure everyone is doing alright.”

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