Shields heading back to the Hurricanes

Former captain Brad Shields is returning to the Hurricanes.

The Hurricanes Centurion and former England international has signed for the 2024 Super Rugby Pacific season.

31 year old Shields is currently playing for French club Perpignan on a short term deal.

He left Wellington in 2018 to play for London Wasps, who last year went into administration and were relegated from the English Premiership.

His signing will help offset the loss of captain Ardie Savea, who will take a sabbatical in Japan next year.

"I'm extremely excited to rekindle my love and passion for the Hurricanes and the Hurricanes' wider community. It's been a crazy few years, so I'm grateful to the Canes for giving me an opportunity to come back to Wellington and experience some Super Rugby again. I've been supporting the team from afar.

"I'm hoping I can share the experience and knowledge that I have gained over the last few years and give back to the club that has given my family and myself some amazing opportunities.

"I am excited about another challenge, working to bring some more success to the club. At the same time, I'm looking forward to connecting with some new faces, and of course, reconnecting with some old faces," said Shields.

Hurricanes head coach, Jason Holland, said he was thrilled to see Shields' return to the Hurricanes for 2024.

"Before heading overseas, Brad was an integral part of the Hurricanes game and environment.

"We know his qualities as a leader, and he is playing great rugby in France at the moment, and before that with Wasps.

"Shields is excited to be coming back to us and we can't wait to get him in to compete with the young talent we have in our loose forwards mix," said Holland.

Shields debuted against the Stormers in Cape Town on 25 February 2012. Despite having just one season of provincial rugby experience under his belt, he went on to play 13 matches during his debut season.

Shields played all 16 Hurricanes matches in 2013 before a knee injury hindered him in 2014, restricting him to only 6 matches.

In 2017, Shields captained the Hurricanes to a historic 31-31 draw against the touring British and Irish Lions side.

Shields was named as captain of the Hurricanes for the 2018 season, with regular captain Dane Coles ruled out for the season with a torn ACL.

Shields departed the Hurricanes in 2018 after 103 games and linked up with the London Wasps, and following that, French Top 14 side Perpignan. He played nine times for the English national rugby union team in 2018 and 2019.