Edinburgh sign up ex-England Rugby League U16 captain Callum McLelland

Scotland have made their first capture in a new initiative to unearth fresh talent by signing up a former England Rugby League Under-16 captain.

Callum McLelland, left, has joined Edinburgh Rugby, with Richard Cockerill describing him as a 'young and gifted stand-off'. Pictures: Castleford Tigers/SNS Group

Callum McLelland, 18, has signed for Edinburgh after being tempted from Castleford Tigers.

The teenager had been a member of the Super League club’s academy since August last year and played for England Academy in a two-match series against France last month.

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The Scottish Rugby Union launched its Scottish Qualified programme in October in a bid to discover players eligible to represent the national team. McLelland qualifies through an Ayrshire-born grandfather.

SRU technical director Stephen Gemmell said: “We have had a very positive response to the launch of the new SQ programme and are delighted to be able to attract a young talented rugby league player to Scottish Rugby.

“We have been monitoring Callum through our programme, utilising Alan Tait’s expertise in rugby league, for some time and it’s great he has taken the opportunity to sign for Edinburgh Rugby and continue his career development in union, in Scotland.”

Edinburgh head coach Richard Cockerill added: “Callum is a young and gifted stand-off so it will be exciting to see him continue his development with us as he makes the switch from league into union.

“I’m delighted that he sees his future with Edinburgh - a club, that for him, has the right culture and environment where he can work hard and realise his potential.”