Rugby Union

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Brad Shields' parents react to his England debut vs South Africa

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Brad Shields has been at the centre of a storm involving two of Rugby Union's stellar nations.

On Saturday, Shields, who made the switch from New Zealand to represent England, made his Red Rose debut in the defeat to South Africa at Ellis Park.

He became the 1, 399th player to represent England when he came on as a 38th-minute substitute for Nick Isiekwe.

The 27-year-old, who will join Wasps from the Hurricanes, after the summer, has raised eyebrows following his selection in Eddie Jones' squad, given he has never played professionally in the English game.

And now, his parents Nigel and Danielle have defended their son's decision to switch allegiances from the country of his birth, to be a part of Jones' set-up.

"It’s hard to read about it," his mother Danielle told the Daily Mail.

"I defy anyone in any career who has an opportunity and a dream like this not to choose the path that would give them that. It happens in any career, in any sport.

"There’s lot of people born in different countries who end up representing an adopted country.

England Media Access

"Bradley did not pick himself. The selectors in England saw something in Bradley that they wanted or needed in their team, and the selectors in New Zealand didn’t so didn’t pick him.

"That is their prerogative. It is what it is."

Meanwhile, Nigel believes that his son has 'opened up a can of worms' with his decision to switch to representing England.

South Africa v England

He added: "He may have opened up a can of worms but he certainly didn’t plan it.

"He has been mature, kept his dignity, and kept the moral high-ground if there was one.

"He was caught between a rock and a hard place. Bradley is not going to gloat that’s for sure."

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Topics:
England Rugby
Rugby Union

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