The Guardian has reported tonight that if Eddie Jones wishes to select New Zealand-born Brad Shields he would have the support of the RFU.
This will be a welcome boost for the head coach, considering his side’s back-row troubles during the Six Nations.
The Aussie is set to be without Courtney Lawes and Nathan Hughes in South Africa, where England will look to end a three-match losing run.
Other injury problems include Anthony Watson, Jonathan Joseph who is a serious doubt – and captain Dylan Hartley, who could be ruled out due to an ongoing concussion.
Shields, who joins Wasps next season, has been in excellent form in the opening seven rounds of Super Rugby, captaining the Hurricanes to the top of the standings.
The 27‑year‑old flanker is eligible to play for Jones’s side because both his parents were born in England but he is not due at Wasps until finishing his commitments with the Hurricanes, which could end as late as August – and is not expected to be ready to start the Premiership season.