New Zealand Rugby releases Brad Shields for England

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) New Zealand-born back rower Brad Shields can be selected for England’s June test series against South Africa after being being granted an exceptional release from his contract with New Zealand Rugby.

England coach Eddie Jones has indicated he will select the 27-year-old Shields, who plays for the Wellington-based Hurricanes, in the touring squad he will name on Thursday.

Shields is eligible through his England-born parents but is not officially available for selection until his New Zealand Rugby contract ends in August.

New Zealand Rugby said Thursday it had made a “special exception” to allow Shields to play for England next month.