Under the Spotlight: Murray McCallum and Cameron Fenton
There have been numerous re-signings announced by Edinburgh Rugby recently, and notably, a lot of young talent are choosing to remain in the capital. Here, we take a look at the influence of up-and-coming forwards Murray McCallum and Cameron Fenton.
Murray McCallum is a versatile prop who has come to be a face continually featured in Richard Cockerill’s team line up. The 21-year-old has played in 15 out of 21 games this season for the capital club – a highlight being him scoring two tries in ten minutes against Krasny Yar, in Moscow.
The boy from Kirkcaldy, who came through the Scotland academy, began his professional career upon signing a contract with Edinburgh in 2017. Since doing so he has amassed 35 caps for his club, and the way he has been playing this season surely indicates there will be many more to come.
The young prop is strong in his scrummaging, and comfortable in his abilities to ball carry, whilst not being afraid to put in the hard-hitting tackles. Perhaps this is what spurred Scotland head coach, Gregor Townsend, to name McCallum in his 2018 Six Nations Squad.
His first Scotland cap came in this current championship’s very first fixture, against Wales in Cardiff. Despite being on the losing team that day, it is evident that that was merely the first of many times that we will see McCallum donning the colour of his country.
On a PRO14 basis, it is clear that McCallum is fast becoming an integral part of the Edinburgh front row. And fans will surely be delighted to have him play for the capital club for the rest of this season and hopefully many more to follow.
Cameron Fenton is another front row to watch. Playing at hooker, but able to move to prop if need be, the 22-year-old has featured more heavily in the absence of Edinburgh’s internationalists. This has allowed him to build on his nine Edinburgh caps.
Having attended the well renowned Strathallan School, Fenton began his professional career further west – playing for Glasgow Warriors.
He also has the prestige of having played for London Scottish, as part of the performance partnership established by the Scottish Rugby Union. It was following this, in September of last year, that Fenton chose the capital club as his new home, signing a one-year deal.
Much to the delight of fans, the promising young hooker extended this stay by another year back in February. Fenton has developed well this past season. In recent games, it is clear that he has improved on his lineout throws, with the majority delivered precisely and cleanly to his teammates.
More than this, it really does seem as though he is hungry to improve upon his game in any way he can, and potentially the rejuvenation going on at the club, under Richard Cockerill, will play to his favour in this respect.
Whilst we are only witnessing the early stages of Fenton’s career, many fans are intrigued to see how the hooker develops, and improves his game, throughout the remainder of this season and into next.