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Sean Daniel Maitland (born 14 September 1988) is a New Zealand-born Scottish rugby union player. He plays for Saracens in the English Premiership. He previously played for London Irish and before that for Glasgow Warriors in the PRO12, Crusaders in Super Rugby and Canterbury in the Mitre 10 Cup.

Sean Maitland
Sean Maitland 2011.jpg
Maitland playing for the Crusaders in Super Rugby
Birth nameSean Daniel Maitland
Date of birth (1988-09-14) 14 September 1988 (age 31)
Place of birthTokoroa, New Zealand
Height1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)
Weight101 kg (15 st 13 lb; 223 lb)
SchoolHamilton Boys High School
Notable relative(s)Quade Cooper, cousin
Pele Cowley, cousin
Rugby union career
Position(s) Wing / Fullback
Senior career
Years Team Apps (Points)
London Irish
Correct as of 2 April 2018
Provincial / State sides
Years Team Apps (Points)
2006–2012 Canterbury 45 (100)
Correct as of 24 August 2012
Super Rugby
Years Team Apps (Points)
2008–2012 Crusaders 54 (115)
Correct as of 29 July 2012
National team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
Māori All Blacks
British and Irish Lions
Correct as of 17 September 2019

Early lifeEdit

Maitland was born in Tokoroa, New Zealand, on 14 September 1988. He attended Hamilton Boys' High School where he played in the first XV and competed in athletics, recording a personal best of 11.29 and 22.30 seconds for the 100m and 200m respectively, and threw the discus 45.47m. Maitland is half-Scottish and is of Samoan and Maori descent from his mother's side. He is the cousin of New Zealand born, Australian rugby union player Quade Cooper.[1] Maitland and cousin Cooper also grew up with future Kiwi Rugby League international Isaac John.

Rugby careerEdit

Maitland spent 2005 and 2006 in the New Zealand Schools team and was a member of New Zealand under-19 World Cup winning side in 2007 and the New Zealand under-20 side in 2008 winning the IRB Junior World Championship. Sean scored four tries against teams from Argentina, Ireland and Wales. One of his teammates was John Hardie who he would go on to play with in the Scotland Rugby Team.

Maitland debuted for Canterbury in 2006, and made his Super Rugby debut for the Crusaders against the ACT Brumbies in 2008 and played in every Crusaders match that year. In 2010, he was selected for the New Zealand Maori where he impressed, scoring a try against Ireland.[2] On 11 March 2011 he scored four tries in a game against the Brumbies, equaling the record for the most tries scored in a Super Rugby match.[3] Maitland joined Glasgow Warriors in 2012, and won his first cap for Scotland at the start of the 2013 Six Nations Championship.[4] After 3 years playing for Glasgow Warriors, Maitland moved to London Irish, and in 2016 to Saracens.[5]

On 30 April 2013, Maitland was announced in the British and Irish Lions squad for the tour of Australia later that year. The tour marked a possible first encounter with cousin Quade Cooper in the test arena, having played one another before at Super Rugby level. The two never met in-game as Cooper was controversially left out of the extended Wallaby squad for the series, and Maitland never took to the field in the one test that he was on the bench. Maitland was not selected in the team to play the Queensland Reds mid-week game, in which Cooper captained the Reds for the first time.

Maitland played in the Rugby World Cup 2015, in which Scotland reached the quarter-finals. He was controversially sin binned for a supposed deliberate knock-on in the quarter-finals. Scotland eventually went on to lose the match 35–34, ending their Rugby World Cup.

Personal lifeEdit

Maitland qualifies for Scotland by his Glaswegian grandparents who emigrated to New Zealand in the 1960s. Maitland said "My granddad always reminded me that I was part Scottish and that I should never forget that."[6]

On his maternal grandfather's side, Sean is also closely related to 'Smoking Joe' Stanley of New Zealand All Black fame in the mid 1980s–1990 on his Samoan side.[citation needed] In 2009, Maitland was a finalist in the Cleo New Zealand Bachelor of the Year competition.[7]

In November 2013, Maitland and three other Scottish rugby players were charged with assault following an incident outside a Glasgow takeaway shop in August,[8] although these were ultimately dropped and Maitland faced no further action.


  1. ^ Morton, Jim (4 July 2011). "Quade Cooper to play cousin Sean Maitland". Retrieved 25 March 2012.
  2. ^ "New Zealand Maori celebrate centenary with victory over Ireland". Retrieved 10 March 2015.
  3. ^ "Crusaders – Sean Maitland". Retrieved 11 May 2011.
  4. ^ "Sean Maitland". Retrieved 20 April 2018.
  5. ^ "Sean Maitland". Retrieved 20 April 2018.
  6. ^ English, Tom (27 January 2013). "Six Nations: New Scot Sean Maitland keen to make big impact". Scotsman. Retrieved 31 January 2013.
  7. ^ "CLEO Bachelors 09". Retrieved 30 April 2013.
  8. ^ By Sean Maitland among Scotland players due in court over assault 3 News NZ. 15 November 2013.