Former All Black Says England Look ‘A Lot More Vulnerable’ Following Shields Selection


Former All Black Justin Marshall says England look a little desperate following their decision to fast track Hurricanes captain Brad Shields into their squad for next month’s tour of South Africa.

Shields is a New Zealander, but qualifies to play for England immediately through his parentage. He still has a contract with New Zealand Rugby (NZR), but is set to join Wasps next season.

Marshall says England were ‘trucking along nicely’, with plenty of selection headaches. But after a string of poor results in the Six Nations, they now seem to be panicking, and look a lot more ‘vulnerable’.

“They were trucking along nicely and really struggling with their selections because they had a good group of talent and weren’t sure who to play,” Marshall told Radio Sport.

“But now they’re seeking outside players. How all of a sudden has that talent dissipated to the point that they’re now having to look for better options?

“What this whole Brad Shields saga indicates to me is that all of a sudden they’ve become a little more desperate than they looked.

“They’re nowhere near as rhythmic as they were and I think they’re a lot more vulnerable.”

What do you think of the whole Shields fiasco? Should England have waited until November to bring him in or were they right to fast track him in for next month’s series?