Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

EYE ON AFRICA

Tears and champagne as commercial flights resume between Ethiopia and Eritrea

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

UN warns of 'conspiracy of complacency' in fighting HIV

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Nicaragua: another descent into dictatorship?

Read more

THE DEBATE

Nicaragua's Boiling Point: Americas divided over Ortega's crackdown

Read more

FRENCH CONNECTIONS

What the World Cup win means for France

Read more

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

'Nation-state' bill sparks controversy in Israel

Read more

FOCUS

Young women in China go under the knife to improve job prospects

Read more

ENCORE!

Film show: Why we love 'Ant-man and the Wasp'

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Brussels to slap $5 billion fine on Google

Read more

Shields seeks New Zealand release to play for England

© AFP/File | Brad Shields' physical presence would be an asset for England against the Springboks

WELLINGTON (AFP) - 

Wellington Hurricanes captain Brad Shields has asked New Zealand Rugby for permission to play for England in South Africa later this year, chief executive Steve Tew said Friday.

The highly-rated flanker is heading to Premiership side Wasps at the end of the Super Rugby season after giving up on All Black selection.

Kiwi-born but eligible for England through his parents, the 27-year-old was expected to feature in coach Eddie Jones' plans for the 2019 World Cup.

But it appears Shields' chance may come sooner than initially expected, with reports in Britain saying Jones wants him in the England squad to tour South Africa in June.

The England coach is attempting to get his side back to winning ways after an underwhelming defence of their Six Nations crown which saw them lose three successive matches.

Shields has led the Hurricanes to the top of the Super Rugby standings and his physical presence would be an asset for England against the Springboks.

However, his contract with the Hurricanes runs until the end of the Super Rugby season in August, meaning he needs permission from New Zealand Rugby.

"We're looking at it and considering the ramifications of releasing him to play for England in the middle of a competition that he's committed to," Tew told reporters.

NZR would not normally be expected to do England any favours, particularly since the All Blacks will meet Jones' team in November.

But Shields is a widely-respected figure in New Zealand -- regarded by many as unlucky to miss All Black selection -- and Tew said this would be considered in NZR's deliberations.

"There's no point not acknowledging that Brad's been a very good servant of the game for a long period of time," he said.

"He's asked for some dispensation and we'll give that serious consideration."

If NZR refuse to release Shields, England could take the matter to arbitration before World Rugby.

© 2018 AFP