All Blacks head-coach Steve Hansen has weighed in on the somewhat controversial selection of New Zealander Brad Shields by Eddie Jones of England.
Shields, who currently plays with the Super Rugby side, Hurricanes, is due to join Wasps next season. With both of his parents coming from England, Shields is already eligible to play for England, and has taken the opportunity of joining up with Jones' side for their summer tour.
Speaking on Newstalk ZB, Hansen, who led the All Blacks to World Cup success in 2015, has opted to throw a spanner in the works, suggesting that Shields would "probably" have been selected for international duty in his native New Zealand had he stuck around:
It is obviously one of those positions... he probably would have made this team this year. I wish him all the best. He wants to play Test rugby, he obviously didn't see a future here.
At 27-years-old, Shields was clearly of the belief that his chance with the All Blacks had come and gone, however, if Hansen's latest comments are to be believed, they may well leave a sour taste for the Hurricanes man.
Proceeding to describe the characteristics required to be an All Black, one doesn't have to take too great a leap to get at the true meaning of Hansen's comments:
That's the thing about the All Blacks - you've got to stay resilient because you are always up against someone else as good if not a little better. If you are not prepared to wait for the opportunity and keep working at it you are not going to get it.
That's my point to the people who have missed out today - we used 54 players last year and we won't just use 33 this year. Someone will get an opportunity and if they mentally stay in the game, stay in the fight through being resilient with how they prepare and how they play on game day, they will get that opportunity.