Hurricanes forward Brad Shields reveals All Blacks rejection a major factor in move to England

Departing Hurricanes No. 8 Brad Shields has revealed his frustration at constantly being overlooked for the All Blacks as a motivating factor in his decision to leave New Zealand.

The 26-year-old has undoubtedly been one of the hard luck stories in New Zealand Rugby.

A constant force for the Hurricanes since his debut in 2012 following his hand in an U20 World Cup triumph, his form and potential saw Steve Hansen rush him into the All Blacks wider training squad that very year.

But that’s as close to a black jersey as he ever got.

"Like any team you want to make it, and if you don't make it you go back and think 'well what am I doing wrong, what could I do better?” he told Newshub.

"Yeah it was really frustrating, and I'm not going to hide from that."

The Masterton-product will head to English side Wasps at the end of the upcoming Super Rugby season with the hope that his exclusion from the All Blacks doesn't necessarily mean the end of his international ambitions.

"The opportunity is there to play international rugby and that's my goal, to take that next step."

Hurricanes forward Brad Shields reveals All Blacks rejection a major factor in move to England
Photo credit: Photosport

That opportunity comes through Shields’ parents, who were both born in England, meaning he has a British passport and is therefore automatically available for selection.

It may be a far cry from the way he originally envisioned his elevation playing out, but he sees it as his best path to achieving his dream.

"It'd feel a little bit different and quite odd I suppose…if I ever make it there I’ll have to tell you."

Shields will pack up his life in Wellington with his wife and his new daughter, Charlie, and head to England once his Hurricanes duties are complete. But with the 2019 World Cup sneaking up ever so quickly, he won’t have much time to impress Eddie Jones and his selectors.

However, if he's able to display the form he has in New Zealand in recent years, that Test call-up could come as soon as their Autumn Internationals, meaning a potential grudge match of sorts against the All Blacks.