Scotland’s Sean Maitland Gets off to a Good Start

Sean Maitland, 28, rarely gives interviews and that is just the way he likes it. Since arriving in Scotland in 2012, the quietly-spoken Tokoroa-born wing has done his talking on the field, where his pace and uncanny positional sense have been matched by the unfussy efficiency with which he goes about his trade, Richard Bath writes for the Telegraph.

Some players’ contributions wax and wane, but you could count Maitland’s sub-par games on one hand and still have plenty of fingers left over.

Having won 26 Scotland caps, Maitland is now an integral part of a settled back three opening their 2017 Six Nations Championship game at Murrayfield on 5 February, and beating Ireland 27-22.

Relentlessly self-effacing, it says much about the confidence within the Scotland squad that he is so forthright about their Six Nations prospects in general, and against Ireland in particular.

“This is the strongest Scotland squad I have ever been involved with,” Maitland says. “I’m genuinely excited by what we could potentially achieve. We feel if we can get off to a good start then anything is possible for us in this championship.”

Although Maitland now plays for Saracens, he is one of the Glasgow alumni who played for the Warriors under Gregor Townsend. As well as the 16 Glasgow players in Scotland’s squad, Maitland, John Barclay, Jonny Gray, Jon Welsh and Duncan Weir all spent the formative years of their careers at Scotstoun.

That not only provides a sense of continuity, but means that under the sort of pressure the stifling Irish defence will almost certainly bring, Scotland’s players should display the resilience that has characterised the play of Glasgow in Europe and Scotland in the autumn.

“We have played with each other for a few years and I think that we are used to playing with each other now – we have built up relationships and an understanding, which is a massive factor in our improvement. Now we need to deliver.”

Original article by Richard Bath, The Telegraph, February 1, 2017.

Photo by Rex.

Tags: Saracens  Scotland  Sean Maitland  six nations  Telegraph (The)  

Dunedin Swimmer Erika Fairweather Wins in Doha

Dunedin Swimmer Erika Fairweather Wins in Doha

Erika Fairweather has won her maiden swimming world championship title with victory in the women’s 400m freestyle final in Doha. The 20-year-old from Dunedin is the first New Zealander to win…