London Irish sign Scotland international Sean Maitland

London Irish sign Scotland international Sean Maitland

LONDON Irish have signed Scotland International and British and Irish Lion Sean Maitland on a long-term contract.

The 26-year-old full back joins the Exiles from Glasgow Warriors, where he has played since the 2012-2013 season.

Maitland rose to prominence in 2007 when he played an important role in New Zealand Under-19s' World Cup victory.

But he later switched allegiances and declared for Scotland, qualifying through his Celtic grandparents, in the same year he joined Glasgow Warriors.

He has 15 Scotland caps to his name and two tries.

Maitland said: “I’m excited to be joining London Irish at the end of the season. Having spoken to Bob Casey and Glenn Delaney and knowing how Tom Coventry operates as a coach, helped with my decision-making.

“The structure off the field is exceptional and with the appointments that have been made, the Club is clearly striving to get back to the top of the European game and I’m looking forward to being involved in that process.”

He joined the Crusaders in 2008, featuring in every game that lead to the Super 12 title, and followed this Super Rugby success with domestic silverware as he helped Canterbury claim the Air New Zealand Cup in 2009.

Maitland’s most impressive season with the Crusaders came in 2011 as they reached another Super Rugby final, with the highlight of his season a record-equalling four-try haul against the Brumbies.

Operations Director, Bob Casey said: “Sean is a British and Irish Lion back three player and proven on the International stage. He is the right age, a great character and wants to be a big part of our long-term plan. He is another significant signing and further indication that we want to compete with the best in the Aviva Premiership and Europe.”