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Shields to win his 100th Super rugby cap

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Hurricanes Super rugby captain and now England International Brad Shields is set to win his 100th Super rugby cap this weekend against the Blues.

The match will be the 100th Super Rugby appearance for Shields who also started for the Hurricanes against the British and Irish Lions in 2017 so will be his 101st appearance for the Canes.

Hurricanes captain Brad Shields lived out his childhood dream when he was selected for the first time in February, 2012.

“I know it will sound like a cliché but it’s true,” he said this week as he prepares to play his 100th Super Rugby match for the club.

“I watched all the super stars as a kid, the guys like Christian Cullen, Jonah Lomu and Tana Umaga, all those boys who came before you and then you think you’re finally mixing it in the same colours, it was pretty special.”

It also lived up to the hype for Shields who will become just the 14th Hurricanes player to reach the milestone.

“Being a Super Rugby player is bloody tough but at the end of the week we get to go out and live out that dream and show people what we’ve got and that’s pretty cool.”

Shields has been proud to be part of the Hurricanes, a club he describes as one of the most prestigious in world rugby.

He was also proud of what he has been able to achieve in the jersey, not only winning a Super Rugby title, but the standards the club have set and continue to live up to.

While he spent a lot of time as a substitute in his first year, Shields said it taught him the importance of continually working hard and learning from those ahead of him.

It has been those points he has tried to pass on to new players coming into the Hurricanes squad as he became a senior member of the squad and eventually its leader.

The versatile loose forward admitted it had not always been easy, especially the years when the Hurricanes struggled to get the results they thought they could achieve.

“For me, my whole career has been about trying to get this club through to finals and be part of that. That’s been a driving motivator for me.”

Seeing players who came into the squad around the time he did now perform so consistently has provided him with immense satisfaction and determination to end his time with the Hurricanes on the highest note possible before he leaves to take up a contract at English club Wasps.

Looking back through his time with the Hurricanes, Shields said the immense disappointment at not winning the Super Rugby final in 2015 was arguably the toughest.

“We obviously knew we had the team to do it but I think maybe we just didn’t quite believe in ourselves and maybe the expectation weighed us down a little bit which led to us not playing our best rugby unfortunately.”

A year later Shields said there was no way the squad was going to go through the same disappointment which led to the highlight of his Hurricanes career.

Now, as he reflects on the 99 Super Rugby matches he has played, Shields said his philosophy had not changed.

“All you can ask of any player is for someone to give their best effort all the time. I just hope I’ve put enough into the jersey that someone will want to put in just as much.

“I hope it means just as much to other players.”

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