Scotland will relish Murrayfield return – Maitland

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Finn Russell and Sean Maitland, pivotal to Scotland’s win over England in their last home Test, are both available again this weekend
Autumn Test: Scotland v Fiji
Venue: Murrayfield, Edinburgh Date: Saturday, 10 November Kick-off: 14:30 GMT
Coverage: Watch on BBC One, listen on BBC Radio Scotland, text commentary on the BBC Sport website

Returning to Murrayfield’s home comforts will help Scotland get their autumn campaign up and running against Fiji, believes Sean Maitland.

Gregor Townsend’s side lost 21-10 to Wales in Cardiff in their opener, their sixth straight Test on the road since beating England in February.

But they have won eight of their past nine matches at Murrayfield, their only defeat a close shave with New Zealand.

“Our track record has been pretty good,” said the Saracens wing.

“It’s sold out as well so that will add to the energy the crowd gives us at Murrayfield.

“There’ll be no complacency at all. We know how difficult the game will be and it’s going to be a great battle.

“But it’s exciting to be back – the last time I was at Murrayfield, we played England, so I have a lot of good memories.”

‘I had a proper summer off… I ate what I wanted’

Maitland, 30, finished off a scintillating move to score Scotland’s second try in the 25-13 Six Nations win over England, one of four nominations for World Rugby’s try of the year award.

The New Zealand-born back was, like Finn Russell, Greig Laidlaw and other ‘exiles’ playing outside of Scotland, unavailable for the Wales game, but is feeling fresh on his return to the Test arena, having been rested by head coach Gregor Townsend for the summer tour.

“It wasn’t my decision,” Maitland recalled. “I really wanted to play. When I got the phone call from Gregor, he said: ‘Look, we’re going to blood some new boys in.’ I was like: ‘Come on, I want to get as many caps as I can.’ I’m 30 now, so you never know with the sport we’re in.

“But I had a proper summer off, five weeks… I ate what I wanted, put on a bit of weight. Obviously on the flip side I had a full pre-season, which I hadn’t had in a while, so there were a lot of positives. I felt good, and fresh coming into the season.”

Maitland has scored three tries as Saracens have won every game so far this season, including – crucially as far as he is concerned – their opening European Champions Cup group game at his former club Glasgow.

“That was a massive relief,” Maitland added. “All I could think about was: ‘If we lose, then I’m just going to get stick from the likes of [Ryan] Wilson the whole time.'”

Number eight Wilson, who started last weekend’s defeat in Wales, shares Maitland’s view that Murrayfield will bring out the best in Scotland this Saturday.

“We’re confident at home, you’ve seen how we can perform at home,” he added. “So that should give us a big enough boost.”



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