Youngster Callum McLelland is confident that the good times will return to Leeds Rhinos as he prepares for his Betfred Super League debut against Castleford on Thursday evening (Leeds 6/4, Castleford 4/7, tie 22/1 – Match Betting).

The 19-year-old made his first start for the Rhinos in Saturday’s disappointing 24-22 Challenge Cup loss to Championship club Bradford and has been given the nod to run out at Headingley as the West Yorkshire outfit try to get back on track.

Leeds have endured a dreadful campaign to date, winning just four of their Super League matches to sit 10th of the 12 teams after 14 games (Leeds 50/1 Grand Final Outright).

The introduction of young blood in the form of McLelland can only be good and the Pontefract-born starlet, who spent a spell in rugby union in Scotland, is relishing the chance to face the club at which he came up through the youth ranks.

“I have always wanted to play against Cas,” he said. “If I ever get a chance to play against them it’s special, it’s my hometown club and it would be exciting to see some familiar faces and play against people I trained with for years.”

The Rhinos are a club in transition at present and, after being forced to go through the Qualifiers to maintain their top-flight status in 2018, look set for another battle against relegation.

That means young players are being given an opportunity and McLelland is adamant that results such at the Bulls reverse are all part of a steep learning curve.

“The way we are going at the minute, being a young lad at Leeds – I know it sounds bad – it can be exciting because you know your chance isn’t far around the corner,” he added.

“It is tough times at the minute, but we are definitely going to be better in the near future for days like that.”

Odds subject to change