Glasgow Warriors and Scottish Rugby have today pulled off another major signing coup, landing Crusaders back-three star Sean Maitland.
The 24-year-old Canterbury man, equally adept on the wing or at full-back, is one of the most highly rated outside backs in Super Rugby, and qualifies to play for Scotland courtesy of both his paternal Grandparents who were born in Glasgow.
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.
Since making his Super Rugby debut in 2008, Maitland has scored some 24 tries, equaling 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 was a part of the New Zealand under-19 team that won the World Cup in 2007, and the under-20 side that scooped the 2008 IRB Junior World Championship. Maitland scored against Argentina, Ireland and Wales in that latter tournament.
In 2010, he represented the New Zealand Maori team, and commended himself to the British audience with two tries for the Crusaders at Twickenham in their showcase Super Rugby game against the Sharks in March 2011.
Head coach Gregor Townsend today hailed his latest signing, telling www.glasgowwarriors.org : “We’re delighted to be welcoming a player of Sean Maitland’s calibre to Glasgow Warriors.
“The back three is an area of the team where we already have a number of excellent options, and Sean will provide a further layer of quality as we enter another busy phase of the season.
“His try-scoring record in Super Rugby speaks for itself, and he’s also a player who has a big appetite for self-improvement. He will be a fantastic addition to our squad and will, I’m sure, be very popular with our supporters.
“It’s another indication of the increasing profile of Glasgow Warriors that a player of Sean’s ability and ambition sees us as a club where he can continue to progress.”
Maitland is the second high-profile addition to the Warriors ranks from Super Rugby in as many months. Former Lions and Golden Lions captain Josh Strauss has already made a significant impact in the Glasgow back row, scoring a try in the recent Heineken Cup match away to Northampton Saints.
Maitland has strong family lineage in the game, being a cousin of Wallabies pivot Quade Cooper. He is also related to “Smoking Joe” Stanley, the centre who helped New Zealand win the Rugby World Cup in 1987.