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England turn to new boy Shields as Jones gives Robshaw the chop

 

By Duncan Bech

Brad Shields reflected on a "whirlwind" fortnight which has ended with his selection for England's second Test against South Africa at the expense of Chris Robshaw.

For the first time in an international career spanning 65 caps, Robshaw has been dropped due to an end-of-season collapse in form that coach Eddie Jones insists defies explanation.

Instead, Shields will start at blindside flanker to complete a remarkable two weeks which began with him captaining the Hurricanes against the Highlanders in Dunedin before flying 7,655 miles to join up with Jones' squad in Durban for the first time.

The 27-year-old former New Zealand Under-20s captain, who qualifies for England through his parents, appeared as a first-half replacement for the series opener in Johannesburg and his accelerated rise through the Red Rose ranks continues at Free State Stadium tomorrow.

"It's been a bit of a whirlwind for me. A week ago I was playing for the Hurricanes and now to be here in sunny Durban is a bit of a change. It's been bloody awesome," Shields said.

"There's so much history in this jersey. I'm just really lucky to pull it on once. To pull it on again is a pretty massive achievement for me and my family. The first cap is something that I'll always cherish."

Danny Cipriani comes onto the England bench having been overlooked for the first Test.

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