Rugby Union: Gareth Anscombe has joined Cardiff Blues from Waikato Chiefs
Last Updated: 24/07/14 12:18pm
Gareth Anscombe in action for the Chiefs earlier this year
Cardiff Blues have signed Super Rugby star Gareth Anscombe from New Zealand side Waikato Chiefs.
The 23-year-old back, who has represented New Zealand at U20 level but is qualified to play for Wales through his mother, will join up with the Blues after completing his commitments in Auckland.
"In consultation with my family, I came to the conclusion that the opportunity in Wales was one that I simply couldn't turn down."
Anscombe can play at both fly-half and full-back and, during his Super Rugby career, has already landed 268 points.
Blues' chief executive Richard Holland is understandably delighted with the capture, telling the club website: “We are extremely excited about his arrival.
"Gareth is a fantastically talented player, a true winner, and also a very driven and ambitious young man.
"I first met him in October last year and was immediately impressed by his attitude. He has since been to Cardiff to have a close look at the region and is now very keen to move here and get started.
"When Mark Hammett was appointed as our new director of rugby we spoke about potential signings and Gareth was always top of that list.
"Gareth's signing is an absolutely crucial one for Cardiff Blues, especially following the departure of Leigh Halfpenny, and it shows our absolute intention to strengthen and bring world class players to our region.”
In a statement, Anscombe said: "My decision to leave New Zealand has been a tough one. I have loved every minute of my career here 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.
"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.”