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Former England flank to captain Hurricanes

NEWS: Former England flank Brad Shields was on Wednesday named captain of the Hurricanes for the 2024 Super Rugby season in the absence of Ardie Savea.

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Shields, 32, inherits the skipper’s armband from All Blacks loose forward Savea, who is playing for Kobe Steelers in Japan for a season.

“I’m hugely excited and honoured to be leading the Hurricanes,” Shields said in a statement.

He played 103 games for the Hurricanes from 2012 and captained the Super Rugby side for the 2018 season before moving to English side Wasps.

He also led the Hurricanes in their 31-31 draw against the touring British and Irish Lions in 2017.

Despite being born in New Zealand and playing for their under-20 team, Shields was eligible to represent England through his parents.

He played the last of his nine Tests in 2019, the same year he claimed two tries in a thumping Six Nations win over Italy.

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Shields left Wasps when the former European champions went into administration in late 2022, returning to the Hurricanes last year after a spell with French club Perpignan.

Hurricanes head coach Clark Laidlaw appointed Shields captain ahead of All Blacks Jordie Barrett and TJ Perenara.

“I admit, after Clarky told me I was really stoked, but I did feel a little apprehensive given I had been away for a few years and the quality of leadership we have at the Hurricanes,” Shields added.

“It’s a massive challenge and opportunity. What makes it more exciting is there is a handful of guys here with so much experience who I know I will turn to for support.”

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The Hurricanes reached the Super Rugby Pacific quarterfinals last year and will kick off their 2024 campaign at Australia’s Western Force in Perth on February 23.

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