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Ex-Crusader to make Scotland debut against England

Date

Julien Guyer

Sean Maitland playing for the Crusaders in 2011.

Sean Maitland playing for the Crusaders in 2011. Photo: AFP

New Zealand-born Sean Maitland was set to join the ranks of Scotland's 'kilted Kiwis' after he was handed a Test debut for the Calcutta Cup Six Nations clash away to England at Twickenham on Saturday.

The 24-year-old wing, who played for the Maori All Blacks and New Zealand's Under-20s, only arrived in Scotland in October after signing a three-year contract with Glasgow.

But he is now in line to follow the likes of New Zealand-born Sean Lineen and the Leslie brothers, John and Martin, in representing Scotland.

Maitland was one of six changes and a positional switch announced by interim coach Scott Johnson from the side that lost to Tonga in November when the Australian unveiled his first Scotland team on Tuesday.

That 21-15 defeat by the Pacific Islanders in Aberdeen led Andy Robinson, the former England flanker and coach, to resign as Scotland's head coach.

In the backs, Sean Lamont moved from wing to centre while Ruaridh Jackson returned at outside-half and Greig Laidlaw, best known at international level as a fly-half, makes a first Test start at scrum-half -- the position in which he began his career.

Up front, Johnson gave a first Test start in six years to hooker Dougie Hall, while No 8 Johnnie Beattie was recalled after impressing at French club Montpellier, with Johnson saying: "He brings dynamism to our back-row and we're looking for him to bring that to bear on Saturday."

Beattie was set to form a re-shaped loose forward trio featuring Scotland captain Kelly Brown at openside flanker and Alasdair Strokosch at blindside.

Lock Jim Hamilton was recalled to partner Richie Gray, while the front-row saw Ryan Grant, back from injury in at loosehead prop with Hall starting a Test for the first time since the 2007 Championship match against Ireland.

Meanwhile, tight-head prop Euan Murray was poised to become the 33rd Scotland player to reach the landmark of 50 caps.

"Sean Maitland is very proud to be pulling on the Scotland jersey for the first time," Johnson told the Scottish Rugby Union (SRU) website on Tuesday.

"His family will be rapt because they raised him in New Zealand always reminding him of his Scottish heritage, getting up in the early hours of the morning to watch both the Five and Six Nations games on the TV.

"He's shown he can play footy with the best of them and the impact he's made since arriving at Glasgow in the autumn has underlined what we'd seen of him playing for the Crusaders in Super Rugby."

Saturday's match will be the 131st edition of rugby's oldest international fixture, first played in 1871, and Johnson said: "I've spoken about the importance of this competition, the history and tradition of it, and you couldn't get a more mouth-watering opening than the game between international rugby's oldest foes.

"Selection for us has been about form but also with an eye to the future," added Johnson, who named Laidlaw and Grant as his two vice-captains.

Scotland, who finished with the wooden spoon in last season's Six Nations, have not won at Twickenham for 30 years.

However, they will hope there is a favourable omen in selecting Laidlaw at scrum-half as his uncle, Roy Laidlaw, a legendary Scottish No 9, was one of their two-try scorers when Scotland beat England 22-12 at Twickenham in 1983.

England, who in their last match defeated world champions New Zealand at Twickenham in December, are due to name their side on Thursday.

Scotland (15-1)

Stuart Hogg; Sean Maitland, Sean Lamont, Matt Scott, Tim Visser; Ruaridh Jackson, Greig Laidlaw; Johnnie Beattie, Kelly Brown (capt), Alasdair Strokosch; Jim Hamilton, Richie Gray; Euan Murray, Dougie Hall, Ryan Grant

Replacements: Ross Ford, Moray Low, Geoff Cross, Alastair Kellock, David Denton, Henry Pyrgos, Duncan Weir, Max Evans.

AFP

Rugby Internationals 2014

Round 1
Sat, 07 JunTimes shown AEST
SAM 18 vs TGA 18 Report Stats
FJI 25 vs ITA 14 Report Stats
NZL 20 vs ENG 15 Report Stats
AUS 50 vs FRA 23 Report Stats
Sun, 08 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 47 vs WXV 13 Report Stats
ARG 17 vs IRE 29 Report Stats
USA 6 vs SCO 24 Report Stats
CAN 25 vs JPN 34 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sat, 14 JunTimes shown AEST
SAM 15 vs ITA Report Stats
FJI 45 vs TGA 17 Report Stats
NZL 28 vs ENG 27 Report Stats
AUS 6 vs FRA Report Stats
Sun, 15 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 38 vs WAL 16 Report Stats
CAN 17 vs SCO 19 Report Stats
ARG 17 vs IRE 23 Report Stats
USA 29 vs JPN 37 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 3
Sat, 21 JunTimes shown AEST
ARG 19 vs SCO 21 Report Stats
FJI 13 vs SAM 18 Report Stats
JPN 26 vs ITA 23 Report Stats
AUS 39 vs FRA 13 Stats
NZL 36 vs ENG 13 Report Stats
Sun, 22 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 31 vs WAL 30 Report Stats
USA 38 vs CAN 35 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 4
Sun, 29 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 55 vs SCO 6 Report Stats
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Round 5
Sun, 02 NovTimes shown AEDT
BAR 36 vs AUS 40 Report Stats
USA 6 vs NZL 74 Report Stats
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Round 6
Sun, 09 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 24 vs SAM 13 Report Stats
ENG 21 vs NZL 24 Report Stats
WAL 28 vs AUS 33 Report Stats
FRA 40 vs FJI 14 Report Stats
IRE 29 vs RSA 15 Report Stats
SCO 41 vs ARG 31 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 7
Sun, 16 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 18 vs ARG 20 Report Stats
ENG 28 vs RSA 31 Report Stats
WAL 17 vs FJI 13 Report Stats
SCO 16 vs NZL 24 Report Stats
FRA 29 vs AUS 26 Report Stats
Mon, 17 NovTimes shown AEDT
IRE 49 vs GEO 7 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 8
Sun, 23 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 6 vs RSA 22 Report Stats
SCO 37 vs TGA 12 Report Stats
IRE 26 vs AUS 23 Report Stats
WAL 16 vs NZL 34 Report Stats
ENG 28 vs SAM 9 Report Stats
FRA 13 vs ARG 18 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 9
Sun, 30 NovTimes shown AEDT
ENG 26 vs AUS 17 Report Stats
WAL 12 vs RSA 6 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
 
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