Planet Rugby

Welsh central contract for Anscombe?

04th August 2014 09:22

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Gareth Anscombe joins Cardiff Blues 2014 edited 1

Already a key asset to Wales: Gareth Anscombe

New Zealand-born Cardiff Blues recruit Gareth Anscombe is one of ten players on Warren Gatland's hit list for dual club and country contracts.

According to a report in The Rugby Paper, Gatland has picked out ten players over whom he wants greater control, with the 23-year-old Anscombe the only uncapped player on the list.

After a protracted transfer saga, Anscombe officially announced he would be moving to the Welsh capital this season from the Chiefs, linking up with new coach and fellow New Zealander Mark Hammett.

He is already eligible to play for Wales by virtue of his Welsh mother Tracy and will arrive at the Blues after the ITM Cup in New Zealand finishes.

And Anscombe has already revealed that his long-term plan is to force his way into Gatland's World Cup plans.

"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."

As things stand Sam Warburton, who is another of the names on the list, is the only Welsh player with a central contract with the WRU, but Gatland is keen to sign up a further nine players on dual contracts.

It has yet to be decided exactly how much control these contracts would give Gatland over his charges, with the club versus country row in the Principality seemingly still a long way from resolution.

The other players on Gatland's list include several players who reportedly turned down central contracts, Ospreys second row Alun-Wyn Jones, Blues winger Alex Cuthbert and Scarlets centre Scott Williams.

The rest of the players targeted are also regulars in the squad, with Scarlets pair Ken Owens and Liam Williams, Blues prop Gethin Jenkins, Ospreys fly-half Dan Biggar and finally Dragons number eight Taulupe Faletau.

Gatland has also identified another 27 younger players who have been earmarked for central contracts further down the line, including Dragons teenagers Jack Dixon, Hallam Amos and Tyler Morgan.

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