Brad Shields says pledging his allegiance to England has put him in a “tricky situation” but the Hurricanes captain is determined to “gain some respect” by letting his rugby do the talking.
Eddie Jones this week named the New Zealand-born flanker in his squad for the Test series against South Africa next month.
New Zealand Rugby agreed to release Shields from his contract in order to achieve his ambition of playing at international level.
The 27-year-old back-row, who will join Wasps ahead of the 2018-19 Premiership season, is relishing the opportunity to show what he is capable of on the Test stage.
“I guess it’s a pretty tricky situation,” said Shields. “I think it’s how you play on the footy field that’s going to matter the most and you earn respect by playing well in the jersey.
“I’ve just got to put my hand up and my head down and go to work like I try to do every week for the Hurricanes, and hopefully I gain some respect that way.
“As a footy player you want to aim for the highest you can possibly get to. For me it wasn’t quite clicking in New Zealand, but there was another opportunity.
“I’m pretty happy with my decision and can’t wait to get stuck in.”
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