Leeds Rhinos keen keep young half-back Callum McLelland boss Richard Agar confirms - but they face competition from Castleford Tigers

Coach Richard Agar has confirmed he wants to keep half-back Callum McLelland at Leeds Rhinos next year.

Wednesday, 28th July 2021, 12:47 pm

The 21-year-old Scotland international is out of contract in November and has been linked with a return to his hometown club Castleford Tigers where he had a spell in the academy.

McLelland has featured in Rhinos’ last two games, after missing the start of the season due to a succession of injuries and is expected to partner Luke Gale in the halves away to Hull on Thursday.

Agar said McLelland’s future at Leeds is “up to him” and confirmed: “There is an option both ways on his contract and we’ve indicated we’d love to have him here.”

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Callum Mclelland scored his first Super League try for Rhinos against Salford last week. Picture by Jonathan Gawthorpe.

But the coach stressed: “You’ve got to be realistic and say if Callum sees there’s a better option and opportunity - be that a starting position and monetary value - he may well want to take it if it’s with the right club.

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“I know he has been linked heavily with Castleford.

"We’ve had the conversation to say we want you here.

“I guess how he performs from here until the end of the year will dictate where we see him in our pecking order and how much pressure he can put on our starting players and what his opportunities are.

“That’s the realistic option for Callum, does he see the opportunity as the right one to stay here or has he got somewhere he sees himself playing more?

“And, of course, contract value may come into it.

"What he does know is we see plenty of value in keeping Callum in our squad.”

McLelland scored his first Betfred Super League try in last week’s win over Salford Red Devils.

Agar said: “I thought he did a really competent job.

“There are certainly some improvements we need from him, gradually week by week, but I thought he tried hard to stick his body in front of some people on some tough tackles.

“Hopefully he is going to get another chance this week and he can move forward on a pretty solid base he built for himself against Salford.”

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