SEAN MAITLAND has left London Irish to join Saracens.
The club confirmed the 27-year-old’s departure earlier on Monday morning, with the full-back making a swift return to the Aviva Premiership following Exiles’ relegation last season.
Scotland international Maitland only signed on at Madejski Stadium last year following his switch from Glasgow Warriors of the PRO 12 League and made 17 appearances for Tom Coventry’s charges.
He becomes the fifth player to leave Irish during the close season and is the second returning to the top flight after Halani Aulika made the move to Sale Sharks.
Geoff Cross, Tom Guest and Andrew Fenby, meanwhile, have all retired from the professional game to pursue careers outside of the sport.
Despite losing Maitland, the message from the club is that it will continue to rebuild the squad as they plan for life in the Greene King Championship.
“The club has agreed with Saracens that Sean can join them at the end of this season,” said Glenn Delaney, head of rugby operations.
“We wish him well and thank him for all his efforts both on and off the pitch.
“We have a number of signings that have committed their future to London Irish next season; we will continue to strengthen the squad ahead of the 2016/17 season as we aim to compete effectively in the Championship and to make an immediate return to the Aviva Premiership.”