New Zealand’s attempts to recruit Hurricanes forward Brad Sheilds look set to end in defeat.
The Telegraph have reported that the All Blacks were looking to call the 26-year-old up for last week’s test match against France, but subsequently withdrew that offer when it emerged that Shields would be moving to England in the near future.
The report suggests that the flanker, when told of the plans to draft him into the New Zealand squad, told Steve Hansen that he intends to join Wasps at the end of the Super Rugby season with a view to playing with England in the 2019 World Cup. He is eager to play at international level, and could see the Red Rose as his best option of realising that ambition.
The former All Blacks under-20 international (and member of the side that won the 2011 world championship) qualifies to play for England through his parents, which handily bypasses the all notion of the new five-year residency laws. The report goes on to state that while England have given Shields enough belief that moving will put him under consideration to be part of Eddie Jones’ squad ahead of the finals in Japan in two years, there have been no outright promises made to the player.
This is not the first time that Shields has been linked with a move to the Premiership. Similar reports were mooted in the English media back in August, wherein he committed himself to the Hurricanes until the end of the 2018 Super Rugby season but couldn’t guarantee anything beyond that.