Saracens’ Scottish international winger Sean Maitland has given the club a mammoth vote of confidence this week by agreeing a new contract extension for the next two seasons.
There has been plenty of speculation surrounding the New Zealand-born ace since Sarries’ demotion to the RFU Championship following multiple breaches of the Gallagher Premiership’s salary cap.
PRO14 outfit Glasgow Warriors were thought to be very keen on bringing Maitland north of the border, but Maitland revealed in an interview with rugbypass.com/news/ that his future still lies in London.
The 31-year-old has been with Sarries since 2016, racking up 65 points in the process. He’s also made 48 appearances in a Scotland jersey and bagged a try in Scotland’s most recent 2020 Six Nations victory over France.
During the Six Nations, Maitland’s future came into question and he maintained that he was “really settled” at Allianz Park given that the club had “looked after [him] really well” since his arrival four years ago.
It appears Maitland has repaid Sarries’ loyalty by vowing to help them out of English rugby’s second tier next season. Despite their recent breach of the rules, Sarries still have a huge reputation in the sport, both on the field and off it.
When it comes to the new RFU Championship season, which will be covered comprehensively by sportsbooks such as betsafe.com/en/ with pre-game and in-play markets, Saracens are sure to be red-hot favourites week-in, week-out to win the Championship outright.
Maitland one of few players to commit their future to Sarries
There has been very little good news for Saracens in recent months. At the end of January, Premiership Rugby enforced a 70-point deduction which would ensure Sarries finish rooted to the foot of the table and end the 2019/20 season with relegation to the second tier for the first time since 1994/95.
Their demotion resulted in a spate of leading players departing, including Titi Lamositele back to French club Montpellier, Will Skelton to La Rochelle, Ben Earl to Bristol and Nick Tompkins to the Dragons. But despite losing much of their top-flight talent, Maitland has opted to remain.
It’s highly likely that Maitland will have sought reassurances from Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend that playing for a season or two in the RFU Championship would not hinder his chances of remaining in the Scottish Test side.
Townsend will almost certainly have reinforced Maitland’s importance to the team. Maitland will be hoping that his club side, who have been the dominant force in English rugby union in the 2010s, can bounce back quickly.
Cobus Wiese likely to turn his back on a move to Allianz Park
Despite their commercial power, it seems their player pull has definitely diminished since their relegation. South African youngster Cobus Wiese is reported by therugbypaper.co.uk/latest-news/ to be having second thoughts about joining Sarries later this year.
Wiese agreed a five-year contract with the Premiership and European champions at the end of last year, but the Stormers’ ace is now having second thoughts about plying his trade in north London.
Wiese’s uncertainty has put other Premiership clubs on red alert for his services, but it remains to be seen whether Wiese has actually put pen to paper on a contract with Sarries, which could leave him resigned to at least one season in England’s second tier of professional rugby.
Feature image: Wikimedia Commons