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Crusaders winger Sean Maitland has farewelled a promising New Zealand rugby career to sign with Scottish club Glasgow Warriors.
The 24-year-old former New Zealand age group standout and 2010 New Zealand Maori representative has signed a contract, subject to a medical and visa clearance, starting next month to keep him at the club until 2015.
The move could have international implications, with Maitland qualified to represent Scotland through his Glasgow-born paternal grandparents and he has never represented the All Blacks.
He came closest to national honours last year following a bright attacking Super Rugby season with the Crusaders. His highlights were a memorable two-try performance against the Sharks in their match at Twickenham and a competition record-equalling haul of four against the Brumbies.
Maitland has scored 24 tries in 54 Super Rugby games since his 2008 debut but this year’s campaign was ruined by injury and subsequent mixed form.
Glasgow coach Gregor Townsend said securing Maitland’s signature was a coup for the club.
“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,” Townsend told the club’s website.
Tokoroa-born Maitland is a cousin of Australian international Quade Cooper.
Maitland is the second high-profile addition to the Warriors ranks from Super Rugby in as many months following the signing South African Josh Strauss, the former Lions captain and No.8.