Ex-Raider Mark McLinden signs with Reds - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Ex-Raider Mark McLinden signs with Reds

15/08/2008 02:48:53 PM Comments (0)

Former Canberra Raiders utility Mark McLinden has become the latest rugby league player to switch to rugby union, signing a two-year deal with the Queensland Reds.

McLinden, 29, played 165 matches over seven seasons with the Raiders before relocating to the Super League in England, where he has spent four seasons with London Broncos, now the Harlequins.

The former half was this week granted an early release from his contract with Harlequins to return home, and was tipped to replace sacked halfback Todd Carney at the Raiders.

But the Reds have been quick to jump on McLinden, signing him to replace outgoing fullback Clinton Schifcofske, also a former Raider.

Reds performance manager Ben Whitaker said McLinden's experience and versatility would be valuable to the Super 14 club.

"A player like Mark has that experience (and) is able to fit a certain hole in terms of our squad list," Whitaker said.

"He was the right person for that position that didn't exist off-contract at the moment in rugby in Australia."

Schifcofske personally recommended his former Raiders teammate to Reds staff before taking up a lucrative contract with Irish rugby club Ulster.

"Clinton has travelled a similar path and his opinion is one we respect," Whitaker said.

"He was adamant that Mark will be an absolute hit in the game.

"Positionally we've obviously got some ideas about him playing in the back three but there's no reason why he couldn't play elsewhere."

McLinden will play out the rest of the Super League season before returning home to Australia.

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