Maitland named in Scotland Six Nations squad
Former Crusaders wing Sean Maitland has been predictably fast-tracked into Scotland's test squad to begin preparations for the Six Nations.
The New Zealand-born Maitland has only been in Scotland for around three months but qualifies for immediate selection through his Glasgow-born grandparents.
The 24-year-old joined Glasgow Warriors on a two and a-half year deal last October when he became frustrated with his lack of progression in the New Zealand system.
He is one of 10 uncapped players selected by new coach Scott Johnson among a 35-strong squad that will gather in Glasgow next Sunday for a three-day training camp ahead of the Six Nations Championship.
Maitland, who has become a key member of the Crusaders lineup over recent Super Rugby seasons, is a certainty to make the cutoff when Johnson narrows down his squad for the championship.
Maitland admitted to reporters in the UK after his arrival that Scotland was very much his second choice.
"I can't deny my dream has always been to be an All Black but that has not happened," he said. "Every New Zealand rugby player dreams about being an All Black.
"I am very proud of what I have achieved in New Zealand rugby with Canterbury, Crusaders, [the] Under-19s and Under-20s and the Maori All Blacks."
Now he gets the chance to add test rugby to that mix with a Scotland side that will surely be the better for his speed, skill and finishing ability.
Maitland is one of 19 squad members who play for Glasgow Warriors, currently second in the 12-team Celtic League.
"We've chosen this squad with two parametres uppermost in our minds: current form and looking to the future," fill-in coach Scott Johnson said.
Scotland lost all five of its matches in last year's Six Nations and lost to Tonga in November last year, resulting in coach Andy Robinson's resignation.
Forwards: Alasdair Dickinson, Ryan Grant, Dougie Hall, Pat MacArthur, Ross Ford, Euan Murray, Geoff Cross, Moray Low, Alastair Kellock, Richie Gray, Jim Hamilton, Grant Gilchrist, Kelly Brown, Robert Harley, Ryan Wilson, Johnnie Beattie, David Denton, Richie Vernon, Chris Fusaro.
Backs: Peter Murchie, Stuart Hogg, Sean Maitland, Tommy Seymour, Sean Lamont, Tim Visser, Max Evans, Matt Scott, Alex Dunbar, Peter Horne, Duncan Weir, Ruaridh Jackson, Tom Heathcote, Henry Pyrgos, Sean Kennedy, Greig Laidlaw.