Scotland coach defends ‘kilted Kiwi’

Thu, 24 Jan 2013 15:25
Large seanmaitlandhurricanes Large kellybrownsixnations Large scottjohnson

Scott Johnson has stressed there was "no tokenism" about the selection of New Zealand-born wing Sean Maitland in his Six Nations squad.

Interim Scotland coach Scott Johnson has stressed there was "no tokenism" about the selection of New Zealand-born wing Sean Maitland in his Six Nations squad.

Johnson’s inclusion of Maitland in his maiden squad has come under criticism after the former Crusaders wing had played only a handful of matches for Glasgow Warriors since arriving in Scotland in October.

The 24-year-old will become the latest so-called "kilted Kiwi" when he makes his Scottish debut, following in the footsteps of players like Sean Lineen and brothers John and Martin Leslie.

Speaking at the Six Nations launch in London on Wednesday, Johnson highlighted Maitland's Scottish heritage and said he had been selected on merit.

"When I spoke to his dad, he was standing in his kilt in New Zealand,” said Australian-born Johnson, who previously coached Wales and the USA.

"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."

Scotland kick-off their Six Nations campaign against England at Twickenham next Saturday, where they have not won since 1983. Johnson, though, feels his new-look squad will not be bogged down by history.

"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.

Reds vs Chiefs
sast: 11h45 | local: 19h45

  • 12 | 31
LIVE
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Sat, 21 April 2018
Bulls v Rebels 13h05 Loftus Versfeld
Leinster v Scarlets 14h30 Dublin
Sharks v Stormers 15h15 Durban
Zebre v Ospreys 16h45 Parma
Ulster v Glasgow Warriors 17h05 Kingspan Stadium
Ulster v Glasgow Warriors 18h05 Kingspan Stadium
Sun, 22 April 2018
Brumbies v Jaguares 06h05 Canberra
Racing Metro v Munster 14h15 Paris
Fri, 27 April 2018
Gloucester v Bath 22h00 Kingsholm
Edinburgh v Glasgow Warriors 22h00 Myreside
Cardiff Blues v Ospreys 22h00 Cardiff Arms Park
Connacht v Leinster 22h00 Sportsground
Munster v Ulster 22h00 Thomond Park
Worcester Warriors v Harlequins 22h00 Sixways
Wasps v Northampton Saints 22h00 Ricoh Arena
London Irish v Saracens 22h00 Madejski Stadium
Leicester Tigers v Newcastle Falcons 22h00 Welford Road
Exeter Chiefs v Sale Sharks 22h00 Sandy Park
Kings v Cheetahs 22h00 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Treviso v Zebre 22h00 Stadio Monigo
Dragons v Scarlets 22h00 Rodney Parade
Hurricanes v Sunwolves 07h35 Wellington
Stormers v Rebels 13h00 Newlands
Sat, 28 April 2018
Reds v Lions 05h05 Suncorp Stadium
Blues v Jaguares 07h35 Eden Park
SIX NATIONS
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
Ireland 5 5 0 0 26
Wales 5 3 0 2 15
Scotland 5 3 0 2 13
France 5 2 0 3 11
England 5 2 0 3 10
Italy 5 0 0 5 1