British & Irish Lions winner Sean Maitland admits spending the summer on tour in Australia provided him with the belief that he can mix it with the world’s best players.
Although not featuring in any of the three Tests against Australia, the 25-year-old made five appearances for the Lions as the tourists claimed a historic 2-1 series win.
Having taken an extended break following his summer exploits, he returned to action on Friday for the first time this season with club side Glasgow Warriors in their Pro12 match against Zebre.
Starting at full back, Maitland showed his intentions for this season by turning in a man of the match performance to help his side seal the win.
And the New Zealand-born Scotland back admitted rubbing shoulders with other established international players over the summer was a very useful learning experience.
“The British and Irish Lions tour was the best thing I’ve done in my life,” said Maitland.
“Being around quality players gave me confident in my ability. I was learning from the best in the shape of Tommy Bowe and Brian O’Driscoll.”