Brad Shields unsure whether he will be permitted to join England's tour to South Africa
By Joe Shread
Last Updated: 26/04/18 7:16am
Brad Shields has said he is still unsure whether he will be permitted to join up with the England squad if he is called up by Eddie Jones for the tour to South Africa.
The 27-year-old is playing for the Wellington Hurricanes in his native New Zealand, but is joining Wasps at the end of the Super Rugby season in August and has been tipped to make Jones' squad for the matches in June.
Shields is eligible for England through his parents, but as he is contracted to the Hurricanes until after the international window, he would require special dispensation to play in South Africa.
Speaking before the Hurricanes' Super Rugby match against the Sunwolves on Friday - live on Sky Sports - Shields said: "I haven't heard anything yet.
"It's out of my control and my focus is on the game this week, and has been for the last couple of weeks.
"All I need to worry about is playing good rugby and whatever happens from here is out of my control."
The Hurricanes have three regular-season matches after the international window, which could potentially be followed by three play-off matches.
New Zealand Rugby chief executive Steve Tew initially said he was reluctant to release Shields early to play for England - if he was called-up - but later softened his stance.
Tew said: "There's no point not acknowledging that Brad's been a very good servant of the game for a long period of time. He's asked for some dispensation and we'll give that serious consideration."
Shields has only ever made New Zealand training squads, and when asked about ever representing the All Blacks, he replied: "I'm heading off after Super Rugby.
"When I signed over in England (playing Tests) was obviously part of the plans. As a player, your goal is always to play at that next level and that's my goal and always has been."