Scottish domestic rugby received a blow today when it was announced that Scotland winger Sean Maitland will join London Irish next season.
New Zealand-born Maitland joined Glasgow Warriors in 2012 and quickly forced his way into the Scotland squad on the basis of ancestry. So far he has gained 15 Scotland caps, scoring two tries.
In 2013 Maitland toured Australia with the British and Irish Lions. He was named this week in coach Vern Cotter’s RBS Six Nations squad.
In the past year current internationalists Greig Laidlaw and Geoff Cross are among those who have headed south to pursue careers.
• FORMER Edinburgh Rugby utility back Jim Thompson looks set to spark a stampede for his services after retiring from playing and indicating he wants to move into coaching.
Thompson, 30, has been forced to hang up his boots at London Scottish due to persistent knee problems. He joined the club in 2012.
He said: “I am moving back home to Edinburgh with my family and hoping to stay in rugby in a coaching capacity.”
A grandson of the late commentary legend Bill McLaren, the Royal High School educated Thompson, added: “When you are a professional rugby player for so long, you pick up a lot of information and I feel I can give plenty back.”