Super Rugby Pacific: Veteran Brad Shields named new Hurricanes captain for 2024 season

Veteran loose forward Brad Shields has been named Hurricanes captain, succeeding Ardie Savea for the 2024 Super Rugby Pacific.

Already boasting a century of games for the side, Shields takes the reins of the Hurricanes after returning to New Zealand.

Along with halfback TJ Perenara, he is one of only two players in the current Hurricanes squad that won the franchise's only Super Rugby title in 2016.

Brad Shields captained the Hurricanes in 2018.
Brad Shields captained the Hurricanes in 2018. Photo credit: Photosport

Shields, 32, played five seasons in the English Premiership with Wasps and was capped nine times for England, but makes no bones about his delight at being named the captain of his team.

"It's my boyhood dream to play for the Hurricanes," said Shields. "To be named as a captain is probably one of the most exciting, nervewracking [things].

"There's a little bit of anxiety there, but at the end of the day, it's a huge honour and privilege to lead the Hurricanes. It's something I think most rugby players aspire to do."

All Blacks pair Jordie Barrett and Asafo Aumua have been named vice-captains. Despite several quality options available, coach Clark Laidlaw insists the coaching staff were unanimous over Shields as the leader they wanted at the helm.

"He's everything we want in a Hurricane," said Laidlaw. "He's competitive, he's a test match rugby player, he's won.

"He knows what it takes to be at the very top. He has huge respect in the group.

"Coming back into the group from being away, we could see really quickly that when he talks, the rest of the players listen and hopefully follow. We think he's a really strong captain and he's got strong vice-captains underneath to help with that.

"We're excited around his opportunity to lead the Hurricanes."

Shields' appointment sees him return to the role he held in 2018, when All Blacks hooker Dane Coles was ruled out with a knee injury.