20 Apr 2018

Shields asks NZR for dispensation to play for England

10:52 am on 20 April 2018

The Hurricanes captain Brad Shields has made a request to New Zealand Rugby to be released if required by England during the June International window.

Shields is heading to English club Wasps after the Super Rugby season and is eligible to play for England.

Brad Shields

Brad Shields Photo: PHOTOSPORT

However his New Zealand contract means he's not allowed to play for any other country until his Super Rugby contract ends.

The England coach Eddie Jones is reported to be interested in Shields for their tour of South Africa in June.

NZR boss Steve Tew says they received a dispensation request from Shields this morning and may look on it favourably.

"We would treat a request from any of our employees on its merits and take into account all sorts of factors and there's no point not acknowledging that Brad's been a very very good servant of the game for a long period of time and if he had been picked for the All Blacks then we wouldn't be having this conversation and he would have committed to New Zealand for a lot longer."

"But he hasn't made that cut and he's now taken a different direction and he's asked for some dispensation and we'll give that some serious consideration."

Tew wouldn't say how long that consideration may take, or if they'd discuss the issue with All Blacks coach Steve Hansen who may be looking at Shields as cover for their series against France in June.

Shields qualifies for England through his parents and the 27 year old is reported to be in England coach Eddie Jones sights with next year's Rugby World Cup in Japan in mind.

Tew said he hadn't heard from the RFU.

The Hurricanes have three regular Super Rugby games after England's tour of South Africa and possibly three more if they reached the tournament final.

The Super Rugby final is on August 4.