Six Nations: Brad Shields scores brace as England keep title hopes alive

New Zealand-born flanker Brad Shields scored a brace for England as they kept their Six Nations title hopes alive with a 57-14 bonus-point win against Italy.

Playing in his seventh test for the Eddie Jones' side, Shields scored his first try for his adopted country late in the first half, before scoring his second just before fulltime.

Centre Manu Tuilagi also scored a brace for England as they ran in eight tries to Italy's two.

The hosts led 31-7 at the break through tries from hooker Jamie George, winger Jonny May, centre Manu Tuilagi and Shields, while Italy crossed through first-five Tommaso Allan.

Second-half tries from Tuilagi, lock George Kruis, replacement scrumhalf Dan Robson and Shields took England past the 50-point mark, with Italy crossing through centre Luca Morisi.

Shields out-ran former Hurricanes teammate and Italy fullback Jayden Hayward to score his first, while he pounced on a charge down for his second.  

England have won all 20 of their clashes with Italy in the Six Nations.

The bonus-point win lifts England to second on the Six Nations standings, one point behind Wales - who beat Scotland 18-11 earlier in the day.

The two results set up what will be a thrilling final round of the Six Nations next weekend.

If Wales beat Ireland in Cardiff, they will complete the Grand Slam, but a loss will give England the chance to re-claim the Six Nations if they beat Scotland at Twickenham.

In their past five encounters, both Wales are Ireland have won two games each to go along with a 16-16 draw in 2016,  which suggests their match will go down to the wire.

Compare that to England's past results against Scotland. While the Scots beat their arch-rivals in their last meeting, they haven't beaten England at Twickenham in 36 years.

 "Next week will be like a grand final, it'll be exciting," England coach Eddie Jones said post-match.

"We cannot control what happens in the other game, but we can control what happens against Scotland. We'll have a couple of days off, but then get into it on Monday."


Contact Newshub with your story tips: