Shields selection shows England's desperation, Marshall claims

Brad Shields' call-up for England's three-Test tour of South Africa shows Eddie Jones' side lack depth and are desperate for new faces, according to former All Black Justin Marshall.

Shields - who qualifies through his parents - was among seven new faces in Jones' 34-man squad named on Thursday, the Wasps-bound flanker having been released from his New Zealand Rugby contract.

Head coach Jones defended the decision to select Hurricanes skipper Shields, saying: "My responsibility is to pick England qualified players - I don't decide the regulations."

But Marshall slammed the move, suggesting it shows England's previous strength was now on the wane.

"They were trucking along nicely and really struggling with their selections because they had a good group of talent and weren't sure who to play," he told Radio Sport.

"But now they're seeking outside players. How all of a sudden has that talent dissipated to the point that they're now having to look for better options?

"What this whole Brad Shields saga indicates to me is that all of a sudden they've become a little more desperate than they looked.

"They're nowhere near as rhythmic as they were and I think they're a lot more vulnerable."

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