Feature Interview | Sean Maitland
There was only one thing missing from the big 100th cap celebration for Sean Maitland – a try!
The Scotland and British & Irish Lions wing marked his 100th appearance for the ‘Men in Black’ with a 40-3 win over Bath and even got to walk out with his three children. It was a magical moment for the 33-year-old, but also one that proved to him that juggling work and family isn’t the easiest thing in the world to do.
While the crowd and his teammates enjoyed the chance to show their love and respect for him as he became a Saracens centurion, his respect for wife Nava greatly increased as he grappled with Louis (1), Lilly (3) and Lucy (5).
If life is a bit of whirl in the Maitland household with three children five and under, it has been a bit of a whirlwind on the field for the New Zealand-born speedster. Saracens are rapidly re-establishing themselves in the top flight after their year-long sojourn in the English Championship and Maitland is loving being a part of the fightback.
And it is not just him who is adding pace, passion and panache to the side at a time when they are traditionally vulnerable with so many players out on Six Nations duty. The Vunipola brothers have been around during the international windows and Maitland is more than happy to have them playing for Saracens rather than England.
“Mako and Billy are playing out of their skin at the moment and we’re all just hoping that Eddie Jones doesn’t look too closely at them. They provided the thrust, leadership and experience the club needs,” he added.
“I’m part of the older guard as well, but it’s great being able to play alongside the new kids coming through – Dom Morris, Andy Christie, Manu Vunipola and Roti Segun. The club is in a pretty good place at the moment.”
“If we don’t make the play-offs from the position we are in at the moment it will be a failure. The goal is to get into the final four and then to take it from there,” explained Maitland.
“It would be pretty special if we could win something this season after only just coming back up. I wouldn’t want any other club to go through what we’ve experienced in the last few years.
“It has been a crazy couple of seasons given what’s gone on inside and outside the club. It has been hard, but we are all one big family here at Saracens and we’ve struck together and pulled through.
“We are tough and resilient, we are building on solid foundations and we are like a big family. I always come into work with a smile on my face because I enjoy being with everyone at Saracens.
“Our rugby hasn’t been perfect and we are always searching for ways to get better. I’m now getting towards the end of my career, so it would be really special to win something.”
A third Premiership title to go with those he won in 2018 and 2019 would look good alongside his Junior World Championship winner’s medals from the U19 and U21 tournaments in 2007 and 2008 with New Zealand, a Super Rugby crown with the Crusaders in 2008 and the 2019 Heineken Champions Cup he won with the ‘Men in Black’.
Some player, some career!