Cardiff Blues have confirmed the signing of New Zealand utility back Gareth Anscombe from Super Rugby side the Chiefs ahead of the new Guinness PRO12 season.
After a summer of story after story of players leaving Wales, it is a refreshing development for all Welsh rugby fans. Anscombe will join the club in October after his ITM Cup commitments with Auckland come to and end.
The Waikato Chief will fill the gaping void left at fullback after Leigh Halfpenny’s exit to Toulon, while he can also do a job at fly-half.
As has been widely reported, Asncombe qualifies for Wales through his mother, and he has not been coy about what his decision would be should the opportunity to play for the country arise.
“Much has been made about my Welsh eligibility and there is no doubt that my mother’s side of the family have always reinforced my Welshness,” he said. “However, I am under no illusions and my focus is very much on the Blues and if the opportunity to represent Wales comes as a result of my performances on the pitch then of course I will take it.”
Anscombe added: “My decision to leave New Zealand has been a tough one. I have loved every minute of career here in NZ and would like to say a special thanks to the Chiefs and Auckland Rugby for everything they have done for me.
“However, in consultation with my family, I came to the conclusion that the opportunity in Wales was one that I simply couldn’t turn down.
“I am really excited to be joining a region like Cardiff Blues. I was lucky enough to be able to visit last year so have a degree of familiarity with the club and people that will hopefully help me hit the ground running and start contributing to what I hope will be a successful season for the Blues.”