All Blacks Assistant coach Ian Foster says Brad Shields came "very close" to New Zealand selection before opting to represent England.
Openside flanker Shields will face the country of his birth in England colours this weekend when the All Blacks take on Eddie Jones' side at Twickenham.
Shields was born in New Zealand to English parents and played for Super Rugby side Hurricanes before moving to Premiership side Wasps and tasting Test rugby with England.
Foster said the 27‑year‑old knew how close he was to All Blacks honours when he headed to the northern hemisphere.
Shields represented New Zealand at Under‑20s level but is now an integral part of Jones' England set‑up.
The All Blacks meet England at 4am Sunday in Twickenham.
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