Brad Shields ready to deal with emotions facing 'enemies' when England play the All Blacks
“There are going to be some emotions, there is no hiding from that,” Shields told BBC Sport.
“But it’s how you deal with it.”
The ex-Hurricanes flanker will potentially face off against some of his closest friends, including ex-teammate Beauden Barrett. Shields, who represented New Zealand at under-20 level, made his debut for England in June and started his first test against at Twickenham against South Africa in 12-11 win.
“What’s the old saying ‘enemies on the field and best friends after the game’ – that’s my mentality,” Shields added.
“I’ve got some really good mates in the group and it would be a shame to stop talking to them just because you are playing for a different team.
Shields qualified for England through his parents, deciding to make the switch of allegiance and leaving the chance to represent the All Blacks and his beloved Hurricanes behind.
“The Hurricanes were very supportive of my decision, they made the whole transition a lot easier and they are always going to hold a special place in my heart.
“I have taken a different route and everyone has been supportive of that.”
Another New Zealand-born England representative, Ben Te’o, explained the mood in the camp has been lifted following a first up win in the Autumn Internationals.
“Everything is better when you win,” Te’o said.
“The air is fresher, the food tastes better, you sleep better.
“If you can just get in that winning mentality, the boys get confidence and there is a real buzz about the place.
England have just six wins from 40 clashes between the two sides, with their last win coming in 2012 at Twickenham.
England squad to play All Blacks
Forwards: Charlie Ewels (Bath Rugby), Jamie George (Saracens), Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints) co-captain, Alec Hepburn (Exeter Chiefs), Maro Itoje (Saracens), George Kruis (Saracens), Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints), Zach Mercer (Bath Rugby), Ben Moon (Exeter Chiefs), Brad Shields (Wasps), Kyle Sinckler (Harlequins), Sam Underhill (Bath Rugby), Harry Williams (Exeter Chiefs), Mark Wilson (Newcastle Falcons)
Backs: Chris Ashton (Sale Sharks), Danny Care (Harlequins), Elliot Daly (Wasps), Owen Farrell (Saracens) co-captain, George Ford (Leicester Tigers), Jonny May (Leicester Tigers), Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs), Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs), Ben Te’o (Worcester Warriors), Manu Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers), Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers)
Join free and tell us what you really think!Join Free