LEEDS RHINOS youngster Callum McLelland has been given advice by club legend Danny McGuire, but isn’t going to Hull KR on loan.
McLelland, 20, is learning his trade on dual-registration at Featherstone Rovers, whose coach Ryan Carr is also assistant to Rhinos boss Richard Agar.
Play-off successes at Leigh Centurions and York City Knights have left Rovers two wins away from promotion to Betfred Super League – at Toulouse Olympique on Sunday and, if they get through that, away against Toronto Wolfpack the following weekend.
McLelland, who was man of the match in the victory at York six days ago, made one Super League appearance for Leeds this year and two in the Coral Challenge Cup.
He has been linked with a loan move to Hull KR, where McGuire is in charge of recruitment after hanging up his boots earlier this month, but revealed: “Danny came to watch one of my games and it was literally just him giving me a few pointers on what I am playing like.
“There’s nothing in it, I have never even spoken to them [Hull KR] about it.”
Of McGuire’s input, McLelland said: “I went through one of my games with him. It was just a case of what he thought I was doing well and what I can improve on.
“I want to learn as much as possible as early as possible so I can play with an older head on my shoulders and see things differently.
“Danny is one of the best stand-offs the game has ever seen and Ryan is very, very smart and he has made me look at the game completely differently.”
McLelland hopes that advice will help him get more action for Rhinos in 2020.
“That will be my goal,” he confirmed. It is always an honour pulling on that shirt. I was lucky enough to make my debut this year, but I definitely want to play more games next season.”
Rovers are proving a good school for McLelland. The former Castleford Tigers academy player, who joined Rhinos last year after a spell in Scottish rugby union, added: “I am really enjoying it, I like the lads I am surrounded by and the style of rugby Ryan Carr has taught me has brought me a new lease of life.
“The more time I spend with Ryan and around a team full of men, instead of training with younger lads, you pick up different bits just from their experience alone.
“They are always tipping me up on what’s worked for them in the past and to be learning off different players and different coaches constantly is what I want in my career.”
Toulouse finished as runner-up to Toronto on the league ladder so Rovers will cross the Channel as underdogs.
“It is always tough ask going to France, against any team,” McLelland warned. “Everyone knows it’s a different kettle of fish when you go over there; the fans are different, the game speed is different, it is a tough ask, but I wouldn’t rather be with any other players doing it.
“We are taking it day-by-day, we’re working really hard through the week and trying to put our best performance in and it’s all coming together at the right time for us.
“Whoever we play, we know we can beat anyone in this competition. We just have to be better than most other weeks against better opposition.”