When McColl joined Edinburgh Rugby's academy in 2007, he was viewed as one of the hottest prospects in the country. The Dunfermline-born player had already turned out for Scotland Under-19 on numerous occasions and been part of the Scotland Sevens squad in the IRB events in Dubai and South Africa.
In 2008, he played in eight matches for Scotland Under-20 in the RBS 6 Nations and the IRB World Championships before being sent on 'loan' to Doncaster Knights to get some senior rugby under his belt.
He recounts: "I originally went to Doncaster for one year with a view to returning to Edinburgh, but I broke my ankle there and missed two months of the season.
"After the campaign I was going to head back up the road, but Lynn Howells wanted to keep me there and I was offered a three year contract. It seemed best for me at the time to be playing in a tough league week in, week out and learning as a player and a person. I loved my time with them and converted to full-back whilst there."
His form in the English second tier alerted near neighbours Leeds Carnegie to him after they were relegated from the top flight and in the summer of 2011 he moved to Headingly.
In his first pre-season match for his new club he tore a muscle in his shoulder, but it went undetected and it was not until about 10 matches later that it was diagnosed that he needed an operation.
Four months on the sidelines followed, but he came back and in 2012/13 he played 25 matches in total and was named player of the year as they reached the promotion semi-finals before losing to eventual winners Newcastle Falcons.
McColl dislocated his other shoulder at the end of last term and he said: "I was gutted, I couldn't believe I was facing another spell out. However, I worked hard and it was good to get back into action at the end of September.
A start and a try came in the 29-28 Greene King IPA English Championship win over Bedford Blues and then he scored two tries as they defeated Ealing Trailfinders 64-3 earlier this month.
He was rested as Leeds started their British & Irish Cup campaign last weekend with a loss at Bristol, but he will be involved against Gala at Clifton Park.
"The guys have been asking me what sort of game it will be on Sunday and I have said 'teams from the Borders are always tough'. Like us they lost their opener and it should be a cracking match, I am excited to play Scottish opponents," he concluded.