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Shields released to play for England

Shields released to play for England

Hurricanes loose forward Brad Shields has been named in England's squad to tour South Africa in June just hours after his eligibility was confirmed by New Zealand Rugby.

The Hurricanes captain, set to link up with Wasps at the end of the year, had been released from his contractual obligations by NZR for the three-week worldwide window.

The New Zealand-born backrow, who now plays for Super Rugby side, Hurricanes, is scheduled for join Wasps next season.

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

Jones has included eight uncapped players for the daunting three-Test series.

Regulation nine is created to ensure any player is released for global duty, providing he or she is willing and eligible. "In the end, we are happy with the terms of his temporary release", said Lendrum.

Sonny Bill Williams' return for the Blues couldn't prevent the Hurricanes winning their Super Rugby derby 36-15 to claim the competition lead.

He was part of the New Zealand Under-20s side that retained the Junior IRB World Championship title in 2011 but has never been capped by the All Blacks.

Eddie Jones has defended his controversial selection of New Zealand-born Brad Shields, and described him as providing the flawless cover for Chris Robshaw. "I know it's been a complex matter for them but I'm hugely grateful for their support on this", said Shields.

This has been a saga.

The name that stands out for obvious reasons is Shields who is now playing for the Hurricanes in New Zealand.

But there was a parting shot from New Zealand Rugby, querying why England maybe have to go outside of the Premiership to pick a player to go on tour.

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