All Blacks boss Steve Hansen has waded into the debate over Gareth Anscombe's future in a bid to keep him in New Zealand.
The Chiefs star, who can play both at full-back and fly-half, has been strongly linked with a move to Cardiff Blues with a view to representing Wales at Test level, for whom he qualifies via his mother.
Anscombe is understood to have spoken to Wales head coach Warren Gatland late last year, and visited the national team's state of the art training camp at Vale of Glamorgan.
But it has emerged this week that Hansen, having publicly criticised players who leave New Zealand in search of a less daunting path to international rugby, has been in touch with the Chiefs back.
And while the Blacks boss sings his praises, behind the scenes, reports suggest that the Blues are preparing to dangle a carrot in front of the versatile Anscombe by offering him a deal to stay in New Zealand and represent them as their first-choice pivot.
The 22-year-old has time on his side, and admits that fly-half is his preferred position, though he must compete with an outrageously talented pool of tens to get near Test rugby in his homeland.
"For now I still see myself as a 10 that can play 15," said Anscombe.
"It's always nice to be able to play a couple of positions, have a bit of utility value.
"I'm working hard on my game at 10 and hopefully I can show that over the next couple of weeks."