Maitland proud of Scottish roots
Former Crusaders wing Sean Maitland has expressed his pride in his Scottish roots after being named in Scotland’s Six Nations squad.
New Zealand born and raised, Maitland moved to Glasgow earlier this season after four seasons with the Christchurch-based Super Rugby franchise and received a call up to the first squad named by Scott Johnson since he replaced Andy Robinson in December.
Maitland, who represented the Baby Blacks at Under-19 and Under-20 level, qualifies for Scotland through his grandparents and he insists he has always seen himself as part Scottish.
"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," said Maitland.
"My grandparents are born and bred in Glasgow and they moved over to New Zealand for work in the 1970s.
"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 and hopefully they can come over and watch.
"It is probably one of the most special days of my rugby career – I’m 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."
As for Johnson, the Australian who previously coached Wales and the USA, has no qualms about picking his star import.
"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," said Johnson.
"He has a proud Scottish heritage and I am glad to have him in our squad."