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Johnson defends 'Kilted Kiwi' Scotland call-up

Date

Julian Guyer

Prolific tryscorer ... Sean Maitland playing for the Crusaders.

Prolific tryscorer ... Sean Maitland playing for the Crusaders. Photo: Getty Images

LONDON: Interim Scotland coach Scott Johnson insisted on Wednesday there was "no tokenism" about the inclusion of New Zealand-born wing Sean Maitland in his squad for the forthcoming Six Nations Championship.

Maitland, who played for both the Maori All Blacks and the New Zealand Under-20s, arrived in Scotland in October after signing a three-year contract with Glasgow.

The 24-year-old has now scored one try in five starts for Glasgow since making his debut in December.

Johnson, speaking at the Six Nations launch in London, defended Maitland's Scottish heritage by saying: "When I spoke to his dad, he was standing in his kilt in New Zealand.

"Everyone thinks it's the grandfather rule that Sean comes under.

"Sean's father is Scottish and he has great pride in being a Scotsman. Sean used to be woken up as a kid to watch Scotland in the Five Nations, as it was.

"This kid is of proud Scottish heritage. This is not tokenism and he would be offended if anyone questioned that and so would his dad and his grandparents as well.

"He is a real proud Scotsman and he is there for the right reasons and that is why we value him as a member of this team."

Maitland will become the latest so-called "kilted Kiwi" following the likes of Sean Lineen and the Leslie brothers, John and Martin, if he makes his Scotland debut in their Six Nations opener away to England on February 2.

Scotland have not won at Twickenham since 1983 but Australian coach Johnson, appointed on a caretaker boss after Englishman Andy Robinson resigned as Scotland boss following the shock loss to Tonga in Aberdeen in November, said that record was of no concern to him.

"That is news to me. A lot of these players probably haven't been there before. We have to create our own history and disregard what has occurred in the past," Johnson said.

"We are the poor little boys on the block and we are happy to go in as the poor little boys on the block," Johnson, who previously had a spell as caretaker Wales coach, added.

"But rest assured, come game time we may not be a poor little boy."

England's last match saw them beat world champions New Zealand 38-21 at Twickenham in December and they will be overwhelming favourites to defeat Scotland in next week's Calcutta Cup clash.

However, a defiant Johnson said: "Despite what people think, we are going to turn up to this game -- we aren't going to cancel it. We are coming. We are keen to go."

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
View All Fixtures
Round 5
Sun, 02 NovTimes shown AEDT
BAR 36 vs AUS 40 Report Stats
USA 6 vs NZL 74 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
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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