Brad Shields has impressed for England with his beard and skills, says Luke Cowan-Dickie
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Last Updated: 05/06/18 3:23pm
Luke Cowan-Dickie has backed Brad Shields to be a success for England - and has been impressed by his beard!
New Zealand-born Shields has been training with Eddie Jones' side this week for the first time since his controversial selection for the three-Test tour of South Africa.
The Hurricanes captain and flanker will join Wasps at the end of the Super Rugby season but has been granted special exemption to join England early - and he has already made an impression.
Cowan-Dickie said: "Brad's got a good beard to be fair but Joe Marler's is better. He's come in camp and done really well. It is his first time meeting all the boys and he's gelled in real good. We had a go-through of moves and line-outs this morning to get him up to speed.
"He's a top-quality player. Eddie wouldn't have picked him otherwise. He's a smart guy and I'm pretty sure he will pick it up for the first Test and if he is selected I'm pretty sure he will do well."
Cowan-Dickie is hoping to impress for England after injuries have limited him to five caps in three years, and he believes England can win the first Test on Saturday at Johannesburg's Ellis Park - where they last won in 1972.
Cowan-Dickie said: "It is an exciting time for me to get my chance on tour and hopefully I get a bit of game time and I prove myself.
"I've had a few injuries in my time but I feel like I've come back bigger and stronger and I'm training well - so hopefully I will get a chance in one of these Tests.
"The boys and I have played at big stadiums and we know what it gets like and we know it is going to be another level. As a team we have quite a big inward focus and we are just concentrating on this week and hopefully when we get to the weekend we can perform well."