Crusader winger Maitland joins Glasgow

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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.

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (27)

    • October 25th 2012 @ 12:31pm
      atlas said | October 25th 2012 @ 12:31pm | ! Report

      I am keen follower of Taranaki in the ITM Cup. today prop Michael Bent (best name for a straight-backed prop!) flies to Ireland, will be playing for Leinster v Ospreys Sunday week, and is eligible (if selected, immediately) for Ireland via grandparent, holds an Irish passport.
      Nominated for 2012 Taranaki Player of the Year, played every one of the 13 matches this season. Recruited by another former Taranaki (and then Canterbury, and All Blacks) Greg Feek who is scrum coach for Leinster. Reported that Sean Fitzpatrick flew out to seal the deal! The Irish connection.
      Half of me wishes him all the luck in the world, as he was never in contention for an AB spot; financially it should set him up – as I understand it the top (and he wouldn’t be there) ITM pay scale is $60,000 NZ (about 14 GBP maybe!) and he didn’t get much game time in Super rugby for Hurricanes this year.
      Last year Taranaki lost their Promising Player of the Year Samuela Vunisa to an Italian scout for Calvisano – they seriously ‘made him an offer he couldn’t refuse’ beyond anything he could earn in NZ, and in three years he may well be playing for Italy. Again, good for him, but frustrating for coaches (and supporters like me) to see leaving from smaller provinces. But we have a professional sport.
      Think – if you were eg 23 years old and had financial offers like these men are getting. what would you do?
      I’d have been off, anywhere that would have me (four grandparents from four different countries)

      • October 25th 2012 @ 6:07pm
        Matt said | October 25th 2012 @ 6:07pm | ! Report

        I think it’s fine for guys like Maitland or Bent to sign for overseas clubs to earn more money. Let’s fact it, there is more money in Europe or Japan and with private backing in France there is a ridiculous amount of money that can be earned. But let’s leave that aspect to club rugby.

        If anyone is offered good money to work overseas most would take it, as it’s an exciting opportunity as much as it is a lucrative one. But let’s leave the mercenary aspect to club rugby, not internation/test match rugby. Because in the end it should be about playing for ‘your’ country, not ‘a’ country that you’re technically are eligible for. Most, if not all, of these guys leaving to play for foreign teams would wish to represent New Zealand (in this instance) before any other if they could be selected. It undercuts the point of test rugby if they then choose a second choice outfit just to earn that extra money from test match performances.

        These guys will be financially set up by playing european club rugby anyway. And young guys like Maitland are earning hundreds of thousands a year anyway on Super Rugby and ITM Cup contracts. It’s not like they’re poor, especially compared to other people their age. Maybe the IRB should stipulate that all players must enter into tertiary study or a trade equivalent that is paid for by their club in order to safeguard their future. Then they don’t have to pretend to be from a foreign country just to ‘secure their future’.

        • October 26th 2012 @ 7:26am
          richard said | October 26th 2012 @ 7:26am | ! Report

          Matt, you and I are kindred spirits on this one. If players wish to ply their trade overseas, well and good, but the buying up of other countries talent, with the cynical intention of offering a test jersey has simply got to stop. The “Mike Harris” affair really highlights this situation.

          As an aside, I see in the british press, they are referring to the upcoming test as being between nz ‘a’ and nz ‘b’. Says it all, when even the poms, who like their oz counterparts perpetuated the myth of nz ” raping the islands” are coming out with comments like this. Oh, the irony!

        • October 26th 2012 @ 12:30pm
          atlas said | October 26th 2012 @ 12:30pm | ! Report

          a query re: young guys like Maitland are earning hundreds of thousands a year anyway on Super Rugby and ITM Cup contracts
          I’d suggest not; Super Rugby contracts are capped at NZ $180,000 (latest info I could find, Sept 2012) for a top player; ITM contracts are capped at NZ $60,000 – and this rate only applies to a current member of the All Black squad (NZ $35,000 plus a contribution of $25,000 from NZRU to compensate for player unavailability).
          The average Super?ITM (I am not including ABs here, Maitland is not one) player would be on well under NZ $200,00 per annum. Easy to see why overseas contracts are so attractive when pay rates are considered.
          The NZ Players Collective Agreement is available online; a player like Maitland would have increased his earnings in 2010 when he was selected for NZ Maori – an additional NZ $3500 per week while ‘active’ in the squad on tour.
          Internationally, small $.

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