Hansen: Shields would have worn All Blacks jersey this year

Author
NZ Herald,
Section
Rugby,
Publish Date
Sunday, 20 May 2018, 1:00PM
Brad Shields was released from his New Zealand rugby contract earlier this month. (Photo / Getty)
Brad Shields was released from his New Zealand rugby contract earlier this month. (Photo / Getty)

It's just about official - Brad Shields bombed his chance to be an All Black.

Hurricanes captain Shields, recently selected for his adopted team England, would "probably" have been included in the 2018 All Blacks squad, according to coach Steve Hansen.

A new-look set of loose forwards face France next month, with Vaea Fifita, Jordan Taufua, Shannon Frizell and Luke Whitelock having everything to prove.

"It is obviously one of those positions...he probably would have made this team this year," Hansen told Newstalk ZB's Martin Devlin, when asked if Shields was on the radar.

"I wish him all the best...he wants to play test rugby, he obviously didn't see a future here.

" (but) straight away Jerome Kaino retired, Reado (Kieran Read) is injured, Liam Squire hasn't played a lot of rugby this year. The six/eight role has become a focus for us this year.

"That's the thing about the All Blacks — you've got to stay resilient because you are always up against some one else as good if not a little better...if you are not prepared to wait for the opportunity and keep working at it you are not going to get it

"That's my point to the people who have missed out today — we used 54 players last year and we won't just use 33 this year.

"Someone will get an opportunity and if they mentally stay in the game, stay in the fight through being resilient with how they prepare and how they play on game day, they will get that opportunity."

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