Hurricanes blindside flanker Brad Shields hopes to put himself in contention for England selection when he joins Wasps later in the year.
Shields departs New Zealand after the Super Rugby season knowing his English parents provide him with an accelerated pathway of opportunity.
The 26-year-old told the Daily Mail that next year in Japan could be his last chance to be involved at Rugby World Cup.
“Last year things started to get real and I knew where I was positioned in New Zealand rugby.
“I wanted to go up to that next level and it didn’t seem to be happening. The goal for me is to play international rugby and, coming over at short notice, I’ve got to go balls out to prove my worth,” he said.
Shields said he had some contact from England coach Eddie Jones which made him aware of the opportunity.
“If it doesn’t happen it won’t be down to me not giving it a crack,” he said.
Shields’ parents were both born in England although both moved to New Zealand in their youth. They have since returned to England and live not far from where he will be based with Wasps.
It had been a hard decision to make having grown up in New Zealand, he said.
“It’s a move I first looked into a couple of years ago but the timing wasn’t right.
“You watch the All Blacks and that’s where you want to be. It was a hard decision because I was on the edges for a while and it’s tough to turn your back. I know I left no stone unturned, though, so it’ll probably be sadder saying goodbye to the Hurricanes.
“That game against the [British & Irish] Lions last year was something I’ll never forget. For most of us, it was the closest we’ve ever got to international rugby and it reignited a bit of the passion and love. It was a special night,” he said.