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Shields' parting gift for ABs


Brad Shields' parting gift for All Black teammates

England loose forward Brad Shields has revealed he had a few parting gifts for former Hurricanes teammates Beauden Barrett and Dane Coles before he made the move north.

“I left a trail of England shirts around,” Shields told The Daily Mail. “There was one in Beaudy’s drawer and another in Colesey’s. I’m not sure if they’ve worn them in training, hopefully they’ve not burned them.”

The 27-year-old is hoping to meet the All Blacks at Twickenham in two weeks time when the pair meet during the latter’s northern tour.

It hasn’t been a smooth transition for Shields after his highly-publicized shift to England. He has trotted out for new club Wasps just three times this season after breaking his jaw on debut last month.

“A broken face wasn’t the perfect start,” he told the Daily Mail. “My cheekbone cracked and moved along a bit, so they basically had to pull it back into place and screw it. They put a plate on my eyebrow and another one in my cheekbone through the inside of my mouth. Two titanium plates and a couple of screws. It’s fine now and I’m good to go. I’m not Wolverine just yet.”

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Shields’ England debut during the mid-year internationals came as such a surprise to the loose forward that he was forced to miss his own stag do. But Shields’ friends didn’t let his absence stand in their way.

“They planned a weekend up in Auckland,” the former Hurricanes captain said. “Next thing I know, I’m off to South Africa but my mates didn’t want to cancel the trip. They went ahead without me and took along this cardboard cut-out instead. They chucked all sorts on it.

“Our game was at 4am NZ time and the guys had been drinking all day. At fulltime I checked my phone and I’d been sent a Snapchat of them watching the match: one guy was awake but the rest were in some sort of coma. It looked like they had a pretty good time without me.”

Shield, who qualifies for England through his parents, represented New Zealand at the Under 20 level and is looking forward to facing the full-fledged national side.

“They’re [the All Blacks] obviously a quality side but, mate, any team is beatable,” Shields said.

England host the All Blacks at Twickenham on November 11. It will be their first meeting since 2014.

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Brad Shields' parting gift for All Black teammates