England international Brad Shields will make his Wasps debut on Saturday when they host Exeter Chiefs at the Ricoh Arena.

Flanker Shields joined the Premiership club after completing his duties with the Hurricanes at the end of July, as they lost to the Crusaders to miss out on the Super Rugby final.

While born in New Zealand, the 27-year-old qualified for England through his parents and made his international debut during the tour of South Africa in June, coming off the bench in the first half of the series opener before starting the second Test in Bloemfontein.

Shields replaces the injured Nizaam Carr in the back row for Wasps this weekend, while All Blacks fly-half Lima Sopoaga – another big-name recruit made by the club for the 2018-19 season – is among the replacements.


“You can sense a bit of an edge in training. You know we’re going to have to be good. Everybody talks about the way Exeter play. We know what they’re going to bring but we’ve still got to stop it,” Dai Young, director of rugby at Wasps, told the club’s website ahead of the fixture against last season’s beaten finalists.

“They’re a quality team who do not have too many weaknesses but we’ve shown in the past. If we get our game going we’re more than a handful for anybody.

“We’re under no illusions and we know we’re going to have to play our best rugby and if we don’t play our best rugby, it could be a hard day at the office.”

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