Maitland sets sight on Scotland recall

Maitland, 32, wants to add to his 53 caps and 15 Test tries for his adopted country.

 

Maitland told The Rugby Paper, "I'm a bit of a veteran, I guess now, but I still feel good physically and mentally. The six-week break has helped me going into this season. I still feel I can compete at a high level.

 

"I want to play some good footy and I'm hoping to crack on with the international stuff," the Saracens club player said.

 

"I just said to Gregor [Townsend, Scotland's coach] 'tell me when my time is up!' I told him to pick me until you feel I am not good enough. Give me a call and say you've done your job and it will be time to move on.

 

"But I still feel good and, touch wood, the body stays good.

 

"I was playing some of my best rugby, and at a high level in the last Six Nations. Obviously, you have to earn the right to be picked so I need to keep playing well for Sarries. Hopefully, I can get that chance with Scotland in the autumn. Sarries know how to get the best out of me and what boxes to tick," he said.

 

Now that Saracens have finished their stint in the Championship as punishment for the club's financial irregularities things were set to be more normal, he said.

 

Maitland said it had been strange last season playing for Scotland one week and then at Cornish Pirates the next.

 

"It was a crazy old time," he said.

 

"Now we are back in the top flight playing against the likes of Exeter and Harlequins, and having Bristol first up on a Friday night…It's going to be a huge game with a big crowd. They love their rugby down there, so what a way to kick it off. It will be just great to have all the fans back."

 

Maitland had a delayed start to training as a result of he and his family contracting Covid.

 

"That was the first time in my career I felt I needed a break, especially after the last two seasons seemed to be moulded together.

 

"Now it's good to be around the boys again and it's nice to be back where we feel we belong in the Premiership. We did the crime and paid the time. I'm sure everyone else is excited to have us back even if they probably hate us," he said.

 

There was excitement in their training for the season.

 

"No one has really left, and we have a wide range of internationals here, plus the Lions boys still to come back.

 

"This club is used to winning trophies over the years and we want that to continue," he said.

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