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British & Irish Lions
Maitland hopes to play cousin Cooper
April 30, 2013

Scotland winger Sean Maitland says he hopes to get the chance to play against his cousin, Quade Cooper, after being selected for the British & Irish Lions tour of Australia.

New Zealand-born Maitland was included in Lions coach Warren Gatland's squad on Tuesday after winning just five caps for adopted country Scotland during this season's Six Nations.

The 24-year-old, who qualified for Scotland through his grandparents, did not take long to make his mark on the international stage when he scored a try on his Test debut against England at Twickenham in February.

But his inclusion in New Zealander Gatland's 37-strong Lions party was by no means assured and certainly came as something of a shock.

"I'm pretty speechless, I am over the moon, words can't describe what I'm feeling at the moment," Maitland told Sky Sports. "The squad went live, I was watching it with the Glasgow boys in the changing room and that's when I found out. It's been a rollercoaster for me, coming over here to try and achieve new goals. Playing for Scotland was a very proud moment and in a Lions year it has worked out well for me, but the hard work begins now."

Australia could include a native New Zealander of their own in Reds playmaker Cooper.

"We could talk about a rivalry that started at the age of five when he beat me in a long-distance race," Maitland said. "He's had the wood over me in a few recent battles so hopefully we can get one over him."

Cooper, for all his undoubted talent, found himself on the sidelines when Australia coach Robbie Deans - like Gatland, a native New Zealander - left him out of the Wallabies' preliminary 30-man Lions training camp earlier this month.

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© AAP
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