|Full name||Bradley David Fenner Shields|
|Date of birth||2 April 1991|
|Place of birth||Masterton, New Zealand|
|Height||1.93 m (6 ft 4 in)|
|Weight||111 kg (17 st 7 lb)|
|Notable relative(s)||Nick Shields (brother)|
|Rugby union career|
Brad Shields (born 2 April 1991) is a New Zealand rugby union player who currently plays as a loose forward for Wellington in New Zealand's domestic Mitre 10 Cup and the Hurricanes in the international Super Rugby competition.
Born in the town of Masterton around 100 km north-east of Wellington, Shield moved closer to New Zealand's capital during childhood and attended Taita College in the suburb of Lower Hutt where he played first XV rugby and served as deputy head boy. After finishing high school, he began playing for Petone in Wellington's local club rugby competition while also captaining Wellington at under-20 level.
Shields made his provincial debut aged just 19 in 2010. Taking advantage of injuries to established players Rodney So'oialo and Serge Lilo, he played in a 52-23 victory away to North Harbour. That was to be his only appearance during the season, however the following year, he became much more of a regular, featuring 10 times and scoring his first 2 provincial tries as the Lions finished a disappointing 6th on the Premiership log.
After missing the entire 2012 ITM Cup due to injury, he returned fully charged in 2013 and played 11 of Wellington's 12 games in a season which saw them finish top of the Premiership log before being defeated 29-13 at home by Canterbury in the playoff final. 2014 would be a year of turmoil for the Lions as they came 7th and last in the Premiership, recording just 1 win in 10 games. Shields captained the side and was named as Wellington's Player of the Year for his efforts.
The Lions failed to gain promotion to the Premiership at the first time of asking, finishing 2nd, behind Hawke's Bay on the Championship log before being defeated by the same opposition in the playoff final, narrowly going down 26-25. Injury restricted Shields to just 6 matches in 2015 where he scored a try and picked up a yellow card.
2016 saw Wellington once again come to close to earning promotion but yet again falling just short. After another 2nd place log finish, this time behind Otago, they were upset at home by North Harbour, 40-37 in the playoff semi-finals. Shield played 9 of 11 games during the campaign.
With just a little over a season's experience of provincial rugby under his belt, Shields was signed to a Super Rugby contract with the Hurricanes ahead of the 2012 season. Faced with stiff competition for a place in the starting line up from the likes of Jack Lam, Faifili Levave, Karl Lowe and Victor Vito, he acquitted himself well and went on to play 13 times during his debut season of Super Rugby, with 10 of these appearances coming from the replacements bench.
The Hurricanes were one of Super Rugby's form teams through 2015 and 2016, finishing as runner-up in 2015 following a 21-14 home defeat to the Highlanders, before finally getting their hands on the trophy at the end of the 2016 season after a 20-3 victory over the Lions in the final. Shields featured heavily in both campaigns, playing 18 times in 2015 and 16 times in 2016 as well as contributing 2 tries in each season.
Shields was a New Zealand Under-17 representative in 2008 before being a member of the New Zealand Under-20 side which won the 2011 IRB Junior World Championship in Italy, scoring 1 try in 5 matches at the tournament. He has been named in All Blacks training squads in 2012 and 2016, but has not gone on to make his senior international debut.
On 5 November 2016, he featured for the Barbarians in their 31-31 draw against South Africa at Wembley Stadium. He played the entire 80 minutes in the number 6 jersey in a side containing his Hurricanes team-mates, Reggie Goodes and Michael Fatialofa.
New Zealand Under-20
Super Rugby Statistics
- As of 24 January 2017
- "Brad Shields Hurricanes Player Profile". Hurricanes Rugby. Retrieved 23 January 2017.
- "Brad Shields Wellington Lions Player Profile". Wellington Lions. Retrieved 23 January 2017.
- "Hurricanes 2017 Squad Guide" (PDF). All Blacks.com. Retrieved 23 January 2017.
- "Brad Shields itsrugby.co.uk Player Statistics". itsrugby.co.uk. Retrieved 23 January 2017.
- "Rugby: Shields, Thrush sign for Hurricanes". New Zealand Herald. 26 August 2011. Retrieved 29 January 2017.
- "Brad Shields New Zealand Under-20 Player Profile". All Blacks.com. Retrieved 29 January 2017.
- "New Zealand Under 20 squad named". All Blacks.com. 29 April 2017. Retrieved 29 January 2017.
- "Brad Shields has family night out to remember". Rugby Heaven. 15 May 2012. Retrieved 29 January 2017.
- "Former All Black Andy Ellis to skipper Barbarians against Springboks". Rugby Heaven. 3 November 2016. Retrieved 13 January 2017.
- "Late van Rensburg try saves South Africa blushes". ESPN Scrum. Retrieved 3 December 2016.