Exclusive: 'It was bloody tough' - Brad Shields reveals reason for turning down All Blacks, motivation behind England move

Brad Shields has finally revealed the reason for turning down the All Blacks for England during this year's Northern Tour.

"The timing was right for me and my family," he said.

"My parents are obviously over there which made things a bit easier and it's just a different opportunity - sometimes you have to make those hard decisions and it was a bloody tough one."

Shields said his dad was "keen" to watch him play rugby again having missed out for the past few years but it whether that was just for the Wasps or England wasn't a factor right now.

"That's not on my mind just yet," he said.

Shields confirmed last month he was moving to Britain to play with the London Wasps - a move many saw as a decision to pursue a place in England's Rugby World Cup squad after he

turned down an All Blacks call-up as injury cover in this year's end-of-year tour.

However, the 26-year-old exclusively told 1 NEWS today that wasn't the case.

"My baby was born around that time so there was a pretty thin chance I was going to head over," he said.

"My focus wasn't there. I wanted to be there for my partner and that took priority."

Shields started off his final season for the Hurricanes this morning with a bang after he won the annual pre-season Surf to Peak challenge - a grueling race which sees players start off with a 1km sprint before taking on a 25km bike ride and finishing off with a climb up Mount Victoria.

"It's always good to finish pre-season on a high!"

But with the grueling challenge out the way, the loose forward admitted he was going to celebrate a little bit.

"I think we have a day off on Christmas and Boxing Day so you've got to make the most of it!"

The Hurricanes loose forward isn't looking at his choice as closing a door but rather a new experience. Source: 1 NEWS