Leeds Rhinos farewell: Luke Briscoe set to join Featherstone Rovers as Callum McLelland also moves on

Winger Luke Briscoe and stand-off Callum McLelland have both played their last game for Leeds Rhinos.

Friday, 8th October 2021, 4:45 am

Briscoe, 27, is expected to rejoin his hometown club Featherstone Rovers next season.

Rovers take on Toulouse Olympique in Sunday’s Betfred Championship Grand Final, with the winners being promoted to Super League.

Younger brother of Leeds centre/winger Tom Briscoe, Luke Briscoe missed only two of Rhinos’ 27 competitive games this year.

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Luke Briscoe scored Rhinos' final try of the season in last week's defeat at St Helens. Picture by Steve Riding.

He joined them, for the third time, in 2018 and has scored 19 tries in a total of 66 appearances.

“Luke won’t be remaining with us,” coach Richard Agar confirmed.

“He has done a good job for us.

“At the start of the year we probably wouldn’t have envisaged him playing as many games this season as he has, but his form has been good.

Callum McLelland offloads during his final Rhinos appearance, away to Wakefield in August. Picture by Jonathan Gawthorpe.

“He has carried the ball really strongly all year.

“He has been a terrific guy within the team and I think he has done a really good job for the club over the years.

“He’s another one we will be sad to see go.”

Agar added: “We would have liked to have kept him, but obviously squads move around.

“We have got some young players emerging and we have a salary cap.

“That’s the misfortune of it, most of the guys who are leaving us this year, genuinely we are sorry to see them go.”

Briscoe initially signed for Rhinos from Hull and also played on dual-registration with Hunslet and loan at Wakefield Trinity before his first spell with Rovers - where he has scored 59 tries in 72 games - in 2016.

McLelland joined Rhinos from a stint in Scottish rugby union midway through the 2018 season, after beginning his career in Castleford Tigers’ academy.

He has scored two tries in 16 games, but suffered a devastating series of injury setbacks which restricted him to only five appearances this year.

Like Briscoe, his contract ends in November and Agar said: “We offered him an option, but we’ve not heard back and we presume he is not going to be here next year.”

McLelland has been linked with a return to Castleford, his hometown club.

He is now recovering from surgery to repair a ruptured patella tendon suffered in Rhinos’ defeat at Wakefield Trinity on August 30.

Four other members of Rhinos’ 2021 squad won’t be at the club next year.

Rob Lui, who is returning home to Australia, Konrad Hurrell is set to join St Helens, Alex Sutcliffe has signed with Castleford Tigers and King Vuniyayawa is heading to Salford Red Devils.

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