Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Rugby

Maitland ready to make his mark

New Zealand-born Sean Maitland polished his Caledonia credentials after being named in Scott Johnson's 35-man Scotland training squad for the forthcoming RBS Six Nations tournament.

The 24-year-old back, who joined Glasgow Warriors in October, was a part of the Kiwi's under-19 side that won the World Cup in 2007, and the under-20 team that captured the 2008 IRB Junior World Championship.

However, he qualifies for Scotland through his grandparents and he was delighted to be fast-tracked into interim coach Johnson's first camp as one of 10 uncapped players that will gather in Glasgow next Sunday for a three-day training camp. "It is probably one of the most special days of my rugby career," the former Crusaders player told Press Association Sport.

"I am very lucky. I have only been here for just over a month and to get a call-up to Scott Johnson's squad is special. My grandparents are born and bred in Glasgow and they moved over to New Zealand for work in the 1970s.

"My dad, John, was born in New Zealand but his older brother was born in Scotland before my grandparents moved over so my Scottish connections are quite strong.

"They made sure I was half-Scottish and I was pretty much brought up on Scottish pies. My grandad brought this pie-maker over to New Zealand and it was quite famous in our small town of Tokoroa in Waikato and I always had them with HP sauce.

"So I am very happy and if I get an opportunity to play, hopefully they can come over and watch."

Johnson's squad comprises 19 Warriors players, seven from Edinburgh and nine 'exiles' and he has no qualms about including Maitland.

He said: "If the kid puts his name up there, we are going to do the due diligence and if the kid wants to play for the right reasons we would be foolish not to take them.

"He has a proud Scottish heritage and I am glad to have him in our squad."


From Belfast Telegraph