Maitland proud to represent Scotland
Adopted Scot Sean Maitland insists he will be as proud as any of his team-mates when he pulls on the dark blue jersey in the RBS 6 Nations opener with England.
The New Zealand-born wing will be handed his Scotland debut by interim head coach Scott Johnson when the team runs out at Twickenham for Saturday's Calcutta Cup clash. The 24-year-old Maitland says he will be fulfilling a life-long ambition when he finally represents the land of his Glasgow-born grandparents.
He told Press Association Sport: "I'm very proud to be given the opportunity to start by Johnno - it's very special and I'm very proud. My parents are happy for me too. They are very proud and talking to my dad, he's a man of little emotion, but he definitely showed a lot of emotion when I told him the news."
Maitland added: "My aunty and uncle are flying up for the game from Johannesburg, and if I get to play the next few games, my mum and dad will hopefully come over too."
Maitland, who moved to Glasgow from Crusaders last year, insists his decision to leave the land of his birth had paid off.
"When I came over, international rugby was on my radar. My dad said I had the opportunity to play for Scotland, I'm half Scottish and it's in my blood, so I was very lucky," he said.
"It was difficult coming over mid-season, coming into a new team and learning new calls, but I managed to find my feet quite early and got a few good performances out there. I've got a lot to work on still and this Saturday I hope to get the ball and show what I've got."
Maitland is the only uncapped player in a squad which mixes experience with the odd youthful face. Despite having just come off a year which saw the team end last season's Six Nations with the wooden spoon and then finish with a humiliating defeat to Tonga, Maitland insists morale in the camp is good.
He said: "There's a good vibe around the team, a fresh start with coaches and junior players. It's going to be an exciting day on Saturday.
"The squad is full of depth and competition, you've got to keep on your toes. It's healthy for Scotland and Scotland rugby. I've got to go on through the week with confidence and hopefully I will perform well."