Anscombe ready for Wales – Hammett

Date published: January 2 2015

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Cardiff boss Mark Hammett believes Gareth Anscombe is ready to play for Wales after the pivot helped the Blues to beat the Dragons on Friday.

New Zealand-born Anscombe qualifies to play for Wales through his mother who was born in Swansea.

The former Auckland, New Zealand U20 and Chiefs stalwart, who joined Cardiff in November, impressed at Rodney Parade with some deft touches in his side’s 11-9 win and threw a long pass to Corey Allen who scored the only try of the match.

Hammett was full of praise for the 23-year-old, who sealed victory for his side with a drop goal and a penalty, and feels he could do a job for Wales head coach Warren Gatland.

“Gareth can spark a backline, whether running or passing, and he controlled the game well,” explained Hammett.

“It was only his fourth match and he is still learning about his team-mates, the calibre we have and how he can direct things.

“He would add certain things to Wales, but that is Warren’s call to wrestle with.”

Anscombe revealed that he was enjoying his new surroundings but remained coy when asked about his Test chances.

“I am starting to find my feet here,” he explained.

“It is a bit colder at training than I am used to, but I am enjoying it.

“I have no idea what will happen with Wales: they have two good outside-halves and competition is good for Welsh rugby.

“I just have to keep working hard and see where I end up.”

The win was sweet revenge for the Blues who lost in the corresponding fixture to the Dragons on Boxing Day.

Dragons director of rugby Lyn Jones was frustration with some refereeing decisions.

“They should have had a yellow card for what was happening at the scrum,” he said.

“Sam Warburton would have been in the sin-bin if he had been penalised at four rucks.”

Wales skipper Warburton, who missed the Blues’ Boxing Day loss, was delighted to make a winning return.

“It was a proper derby,” he said.

“I prefer these matches to Europe: the atmosphere makes them great to play in.

“We were determined not to concede the double and that meant stepping it up, which we did.

“Gareth made a difference. He has fitted in well and we have to build on this.”

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