Double bubble: Sean's first of two tries against the Sharks at Twickenham (March 2011)

GLASGOW WARRIORS have pulled off a massive signing coup after securing Crusaders star Sean Maitland until May 2015.

The 24-year-old Crusader, who qualifies for Scotland via his paternal Grandparents, can play at either wing or at full-back, is one of the most highly rated outside backs in the Southern Hemisphere.

Head Coach Gregor Townsend may think Christmas has come early after securing the 24 year-old’s services, “We’re delighted to be welcoming a player of Sean Maitland’s calibre to Glasgow Warriors. The back three is an area of the team where we already have a number of excellent options, and Sean will provide a further layer of quality as we enter another busy phase of the season.”

The Tokoroa native, who made his Super Rugby debut back in 2008 against the Bumbies, has amassed 50 caps and 24 tries for the franchise, including a record-equalling four tries against the Brumbies in 2011.

Maitland, cousin of Quade Cooper and a close relative of ‘Smoking Joe Stanley, was a part of the New Zealand under-19 team that won the World Cup in 2007, and the under-20 side that scooped the 2008 IRB Junior World Championship.

“His try-scoring record in Super Rugby speaks for itself, and he’s also a player who has a big appetite for self-improvement,” added Townsend. “He will be a fantastic addition to our squad and will, I’m sure, be very popular with our supporters.”

Maitland is the second high-profile addition to the Warriors ranks from Super Rugby in as many months. Former Lions and Golden Lions captain Josh Strauss has already made a significant impact in the Glasgow back row, scoring a try in the recent Heineken Cup match away to Northampton Saints.