Maitland: ‘I was told to hate the English’

Date published: February 3 2016

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Scotland winger Sean Maitland is ready for Saturday's battle with old adversary England, who he was raised to dislike back in New Zealand.

Maitland moved to Glasgow Warriors in 2012 having been brought up in New Zealand where he played for the Crusaders. He qualifies to play for Scotland through his Glaswegian grandparents.

The 27-year-old revealed just how enormous the fixture is not for himself on a personal level ahead of Saturday's game.

"My grandparents made it pretty clear that I had to hate the English," Maitland joked.

"Not many people in New Zealand like the English as well.

"It is a massive Test match, it has been sold out for months and the atmosphere is going to be unbelievable. But at the end of the day, it is just a rugby game.

"I have been playing rugby since the age of five and my mind-set is always, 'It is just another rugby game'.

"I made my debut against England in 2013 and haven't played them since because of injury, so if I get the opportunity to play, that will be awesome. It was mixed emotions that day, making my debut and scoring a try, but we got put away by a good England team."

Maitland, who plays for London Irish in the Premiership, wants Scotland to try and place the emotions of the day to one side in order to ending what is a losing run against England which stretches back towards 2008.

He added: "When you are playing against a team that you have always beaten for the last six or seven years, then you are going to have that self-belief, so England will have it.

"But for us maybe in the past the emotion has probably been too much. We haven't just focused on our skill-set and how we wanted to play. We had a chip on our shoulder.

"Now we are just focusing on us, we are not worrying about results and what happened in the past. We are just working on how we are going to beat England."

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