Edinburgh Rugby have announced that young Dunfermline Rugby Football Club tighthead prop Murray McCallum will graduate from the BT Sport Scottish Rugby Academy to join the club on a professional deal.
McCallum (20) has signed a two-year contract, which keeps him in the capital until at least May 2019.
A pupil at Strathallan School, McCallum represented Caledonia as part of the regional pathway programmes before gaining selection for Scotland at under-18 and under-20 level.
He proved pivotal in the senior age-grade’s historic 2015/16 season in which they defeated England and Australia for the first time, and recorded their joint highest ever World Rugby U20 Championship finish of eighth.
Despite progressing through the age-grade systems primarily in the loosehead berth, he recently made the switch across the front-row to pack down at tighthead prop.
He debuted for Edinburgh Rugby as a replacement in the 45-10 defeat of Treviso in October 2016, before making his first start for the club the in the 59-17 victory over Timisoara Saracens the following week.
McCallum has scored one try in 14 Edinburgh Rugby appearances.
He said: “I’m delighted to have signed with Edinburgh Rugby. The deal is everything I’ve been working towards and it makes all the hard work worth it.
“I can’t thank the (BT Sport Scottish Rugby) Academy staff enough for their efforts in helping me get to this stage. Their contribution to my development both on and off the field has been immense and set me up well to have a shot at the professional game.
“I’m learning with each game and every opportunity I get to play at this level, and I’ll continue to do so over the next few years. There’s a huge amount of experience in the Edinburgh front-row, and being in a position to learn from internationalists is invaluable.
“There’s a lot to look forward to in the coming seasons, and I’m excited to be a part of the club going forth.”
Acting head coach Duncan Hodge added: “Murray is a talented player and we’re delighted that he has committed to continuing his development at Edinburgh Rugby.
“As well as making the step-up to professional rugby this season, he was also tasked with a switch from the loosehead to tighthead prop berth and has taken this in his stride, testament to his hard-work on the training field.
“Murray still has a lot to learn, but he has proven operators around him in the front-row department and how we use their experience will prove crucial to his development as a player.”