Glasgow Warriors today pulled off another major signing coup, landing Crusaders back-three star Sean Maitland.
The 24-year-old Canterbury man, who plays on the wing or at full-back, is one of Super Rugby’s exciting talents and scored when the Crusaders played at Twickenham in 2011.
Since making his Super Rugby debut in 2008, Maitland has scored some 24 tries, equalling the record for the most individual touchdowns in a single tournament game when he crossed the whitewash four times against the Brumbies in 2011.
He also has arguably a greater claim to fame, having appeared in Rugbydump’s Friday funnies for wiping out referee Chris Pollock.
He has represented New Zealand at Under 19 and Under 20 level, but one imagines the SRU have done their checking this time around, as he qualifies to play for Scotland courtesy of both his paternal Grandparents who were born in Glasgow and could in theory be parachuted straight into the national squad Brendan Laney style. Though possibly without quite the same sized hole in the landing zone.
Maitland’s Twitter page pronounces himself “1/2 scottish 1/4 maori 1/4 samoan (full kiwi)”. So we’ll see; but that’s half more than many that have gone before.
Speaking of Twitter, former Scotland standoff Craig Chalmers suggested Maitland would feature for Scotland pretty soon, telling me earlier “he is here to play for Scotland and I think they should integrate him into the squad ASAP.”
If that were to happen, he’d need to play for Glasgow a few times first you’d think and there is also talk of a hand injury so it may be more wishful thinking than a going concern at this stage, especially with Scotland’s training squad to face the All Blacks announced tomorrow.
The Six Nations could be a real possibility though, and thoughts of a Visser/Hogg/Maitland back three might soothe the most jaded of rugby souls (ie Edinburgh fans) at least for a while.
Subject to medical and visa, he will join up with the Warriors squad in the coming weeks, having put pen to paper on a contract that will keep him at Scotstoun Stadium until at least the end of May 2015.
Maitland has strong family lineage in the game, being a cousin of Wallabies pivot Quade Cooper.
I’m off to see if he’s a relative.