Home Rugby NZRU Take A Pop At The RFU For Brad Shields Situation

NZRU Take A Pop At The RFU For Brad Shields Situation

There are no shortage of talking points from this morning’s England squad announcement. 

Eddie Jones has named a 34-man squad for the upcoming tour of South Africa which will see England take on the Springboks in three Tests throughout June.

Danny Cipriani has been included in the squad where he could make his first appearance in the famous white shirt since 2015.

Seven uncapped players have been included and they are Ben Earl (Saracens), Jonny Hill (Exeter Chiefs), Dan Robson (Wasps), Brad Shields (Hurricanes), Ben Spencer (Saracens), Cameron Redpath (Sale Sharks) and Jack Willis (Wasps).

The name that stands out for obvious reasons is Shields who is currently playing for the Hurricanes in New Zealand. Over the last couple of weeks, there has been verbal sparring between the RFU and the NZRU with regards to whether Shields would be made available for England selection.

It’s clear now, that England have been granted their wish but it seems the decision has left a bit of a sour taste in the mouth of New Zealand officials.

“We are releasing Brad with our best wishes and we hope to see him achieve his goal of playing international rugby in June,” NZR head of professional rugby Chris Lendrum said in a statement as reported by FoxSports.

However, Lendrum states that he is unhappy with how the RFU went about their business with regards to selecting Shields for the upcoming tour.

“We are extremely disappointed that the RFU chose to take this unusual step in seeking this release given that Brad has not yet played rugby in England,” he said.

Shields is eligible to play for England through his parents despite not yet playing any professional rugby in that country.

However, he will be signing for Wasps at the end of the Super Rugby season and any threats of getting World Rugby involved in this debate seem to have fallen short as the two unions have come to an agreement.

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