Planet Rugby

Anscombe ready to replace Cruden

09th April 2014 07:58

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Gareth Anscombe Chiefs SR 2014

Big boots to fill: Gareth Anscombe

Chiefs uility back Gareth Anscombe is relishing the opportunity of replacing injured pivot Aaron Cruden in Saturday's clash with the Rebels in Hamilton.

Cruden has been the Chiefs' first-choice number 10 since joining them from the Hurricanes in 2012.

But a thumb injury, sustained in last weekend's draw with the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein, means he will be sidelined for the next six weeks.

The injury gives Anscombe his chance and he is confident he can do well if he starts in the Chiefs' number 10 jersey.

"Obviously Cruden is a big loss," he told AAP.

"Everyone knows the class he brings to the side. We will as a team miss him.

"It's up to me to step into his shoes, step up for the team and make sure I bring the same sort of leadership and direction that he's shown over the last few years."

Anscombe hasn't played at fly-half since a Chiefs' pre-season match against the Highlanders in 2013. And he last played a competitive match in the position during Auckland's ITM Cup campaign in 2012.

But making the switch doesn't seem to bother the 22-year-old who also represented the New Zealand U20 side as a fly-half.

"I've trained there with the Chiefs throughout the last two years," added Anscombe.

"It's a chance for me now to put that into practice on the field.

"I'm sure (the Rebels) will send a few runners my way. I'll have a big role to play in our defence. But at 10 I've really got to give this team good direction."

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