Brad Shields admits facing the All Blacks will be emotional
England flanker Brad Shields says it will be a case of ‘enemies on the field and best friends off it’ when he faces the All Blacks at Twickenham this weekend.
Wellington-born Shields played for New Zealand Under-20s and captained the Hurricanes before switching allegiance to England this summer.
“There are going to be some emotions, there is no hiding from that,” Shields told BBC Sport.
“But it’s how you deal with it.”
Shields, who qualifies for England through his parents, made his first Twickenham start in the 12-11 victory over South Africa.
The 27-year-old said there would be no hard feelings if he is selected to face New Zealand this weekend and finds himself in opposition to former Hurricanes team-mates such as All Blacks kingpin fly-half Beauden Barrett.
“What’s the old saying ‘enemies on the field and best friends after the game’ – that’s my mentality,” Shields added.
“I’ve got some really good mates in the group and it would be a shame to stop talking to them just because you are playing for a different team.
“The Hurricanes were very supportive of my decision, they made the whole transition a lot easier and they are always going to hold a special place in my heart.
“I have taken a different route and everyone has been supportive of that.”
‘Everything is better after a win’
With England targeting a first win over New Zealand in six years, centre Ben Te’o said the mood in camp had been transformed by the narrow victory over the Springboks.
“Everything is better when you win,” Te’o said.
“The air is fresher, the food tastes better, you sleep better.
“If you can just get in that winning mentality, the boys get confidence and there is a real buzz about the place.
“Training has been great so far.”