Saturday, 17 November, 2018

England select Hurricanes skipper Brad Shields for South Africa tour

Eddie Jones Will Eddie Jones turn to Danny Cipriani? Credit Getty Images
Shannon Reynolds | 10 May, 2018, 17:07

Wasps fly-half Danny Cipriani has been included in a 34-man England squad for the tour of South Africa in June.

Dylan Hartley misses the tour because of concussion so Owen Farrell is named captain while Danny Care, Dan Cole, James Haskell and Richard Wigglesworth have been rested.

Ben Earl, Jonny Hill, Dan Robson, Ben Spencer, Cameron Redpath and Jack Willis join Shields as new faces in the squad, while powerhouse Saracens number eight Billy Vunipola returns to the fold having not featured since the 2017 Six Nations due to injuries.

The inclusion of Shields, who developed through the New Zealand Rugby (NZR) system and plays for Super Rugby franchise the Hurricanes, has caused controversy.

England will play South Africa in three Tests in Johannesburg (9 June), Bloemfontein (16 June) and Cape Town (23 June).

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Eddie Jones believes the South Africa tour will be the "most exciting challenge" for England since 2016. He's a considerable influence in their team, a team that has a lot of skill and talent. "He's a gritty player, a great back up to Chris Robshaw for us", said Jones.

"Danny has not had a recall - I have never picked him so I have for the first time".

"Life is full of contradictions and three games ago I was the best thing that ever happened to English rugby and now I am the worst thing that ever happened to English rugby", Jones said. He can add value to the squad at this stage.

"He has to prove he is the best number 10 in the squad or number 15. We wouldn't have picked him if we didn't think [he could do] so". The 48-year-old Australian was recently working with Jake White, who had Jones among his back-room staff when South Africa won the 2007 World Cup, at Montpellier.

Brown (Harlequins), Daly (Wasps), Earle (Saracens), May (Leicester), Solomona (Sale); Cipriani (Wasps), Farrell (Saracens), Ford (Leicester), Lozowski (Saracens), Redpath (Sale), Robson (Wasps), Slade (Exeter), Spencer (Saracens), Te'o (Worcester), B Youngs (Leicester); Curry (Sale), Earl (Saracens), Hill (Exeter), Isiekwe (Saracens), Itoje (Saracens), Launchbury (Wasps), Robshaw (Harlequins), Shields (Hurricanes/ Wasps), Simmonds (Exeter), B Vunipola (Saracens), Willis (Wasps), Wilson (Newcastle); Cowan-Dickie (Exeter), Genge (Leicester), George (Saracens), Marler (Harlequins), Sinckler (Harlequins), M Vunipola (Saracens), Williams (Exeter).

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