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Shields in line for start


Brad Shields in line for first international test start

Hurricanes flanker Brad Shields could make his first international start in the second test against South Africa reports The Telegraph.

Although it won’t be in his familiar number six jersey, with Shields expected to pack down in the second row alongside Maro Itoje as Joe Launchbury battles to be match fit, missing training due to a calf injury.

“We feel with Brad and people like that we have got lock cover,” England scrum coach Neal Hatley said.

“If it comes down to that he could start. He got close to 45 minutes in the second row [in the first test] anyway.”

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Shields replaced Nick Isiekwe early in the first half as a tactical┬ásubstitution, with Jones looking to steady the ship as South Africa bounced back from a 21-point deficit. Shields played his first international test as a lock, a position he hasn’t played in more than four years in Super Rugby with the Hurricanes.

“If we are going to progress with Nick we are going to need to keep giving him opportunities,” Hatley said.

“We need to support him. We were fairly aggressive in some substitutions in Australia and it is about what is good for the team at the time, it is not an individual thing.

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Brad Shields in line for first international test start