Wasps flanker Brad Shields is set to miss England’s Guinness Six Nations opener against title-holders Ireland in Dublin on Saturday.
The news was broken by the Mail Online after he was absent from squad training in Portugal this morning.
- 20 of the best nicknames in Rugby
- Full list of rugby figures to have been knighted
- The best paid rugby players in the world right now
- The Greatest England XV Of All Time By Fans
Shields has been struggling with a side strain since pulling out of his club’s Heineken Champions Cup encounter with Leinster on January 20.
Although the England management have given upbeat assessments of his recovery, it now seems inevitable that Shields will be unavailable for the showdown at the Aviva Stadium.