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Rugby | International Rugby

NZ's Maitland could be next 'kilted Kiwi'



Lightning-quick winger Sean Maitland has agreed a switch from Super Rugby side Crusaders to Glasgow Warriors and the 24-year-old's arrival in Scotland could also come as a boost for the national team.

New Zealand-born Maitland, who was on the fringes of All Blacks selection after appearing for the under-20 side and the Maori All Blacks, signed a contract with Glasgow on Tuesday and could be eligible for Andy Robinson's national team immediately due to his Scottish grandparents.

International Rugby Board regulations allow players who are uncapped for their country of birth to play for another country after completing a three-year residency qualification, unless they can prove heritage of at least one grandparent.

"We're delighted to be welcoming a player of Sean Maitland's calibre to Glasgow Warriors," Glasgow coach Gregor Townshend said in a statement.

"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.

"He will be a fantastic addition to our squad and will, I'm sure, be very popular with our supporters."

Maitland, who is a cousin of Australia flyhalf Quade Cooper, can play both wing and fullback. He will join the Glasgow side once he completes a medical and obtains a work visa, the team said. His contract runs until May 2015.

If selected for the national team Maitland would follow a long line of former New Zealand-born players with Scottish heritage appearing for the team.

Sean Lineen, John and Martin Leslie, Glenn Metcalfe and Brendan Laney all represented Scotland in the last 25 years, attracting the moniker of being "Kilted Kiwis".

Laney's inclusion in 2001 was particularly controversial having arrived in the country only two days before he was named in the side.

World champions New Zealand face Scotland on November 11 in Edinburgh in the first match of their end of season tour to Europe.



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