Gareth Anscombe starts for Wales against New Zealand on Saturday as part of the flight in his first test match in over TWO years after an ACL injury.
- Gareth Anscombe to wear the number 10 shirt for Wales against New Zealand
- The 30-year-old has been chosen ahead of Rhys Priestland for Saturday’s clash.
- It is his first Test match since August 2019 when he suffered a cruel ACL injury.
- Wales haven’t beaten New Zealand since 1953, and only in 1903 and 1935 before that.
Gareth Anscombe starts for Wales this Saturday against New Zealand, playing his first Test since August 2019 when he suffered a terrible knee injury.
As reported by Sportsmail On Wednesday, the 30-year-old wears the number 10 jersey ahead of Rhys Priestland for the Cardiff All Blacks game, where he will play his birth country in an exciting comeback.
Anscombe has played three competitive games, and a preseason friendly, since returning from a savage knee injury to the ACL he suffered more than 800 days ago, but is now ready to start a full-fledged international game.
Gareth Anscombe kicks off Wales this Saturday against his native New Zealand
Anscombe has been chosen ahead of Rhys Priestland, who is among the replacements
“The focus of this group has been two weeks of training, they have worked very, very hard and that has galvanized them. We have had few numbers this week so it has not been normal preparation in terms of exact numbers to train against each other so it has been a challenge, ” said Wales manager Wayne Pivac.
“The guys are very excited, but they know it is a big task at hand. The reality is that we are two years away from a Rugby World Cup and we are working towards it. We have a Six Nations around the corner to defend and try to win that tournament again.
‘They know that it is a great challenge ahead. All young Welsh players growing up want to play in the Principality in front of 75,000, and if you ask them who they want to play New Zealand with, it would be one of the best teams they would pick. .
“With injuries and unavailability, it is another great opportunity for players like Taine Basham and Ben Thomas to enter the group and gain valuable experience. They will come out of this test match knowing what it is like to play against one of the best teams in the world.
Wales manager Wayne Pivac admitted it was a ‘big task’ before taking on the All Blacks in Cardiff
“To win a World Cup you have to play against teams like New Zealand at some point in the tournament and you have to win those games. It will be a great experience for those guys who haven’t played much test rugby and will surely know they’ve been to a match afterward. ‘
Anscombe is one of two players of Kiwi descent at Welsh XV, with Scarlets running back Johnny McNicholl also starting.
Wales have their backs against the walls in this encounter, with seven English players frozen as the match unfolds outside the international window, Uilisi Halaholo missed due to Covid, as well as injuries to George North, Leigh Halfpenny, Justin Tipuric and Josh. Navidi.
Therefore, Pivac has opted for a last row of dragons made up of Aaron Wainwright, Ross Moriarty and Taine Basham, the 21-year-old who won his fourth international match.
The Scarlets back Johnny McNicholl is another player of Kiwi descent in the Welsh starting XV
The five forwards appear to be the first choice with Wyn Jones, Ken Owens and Tomas Francis joined by Adam Beard and captain Alun Wyn Jones, who on Saturday becomes the player with the most caps by a single nation in his 149th appearance for Wales. .
In the back, Anscombe has Tomos Williams inside him, Johnny Williams and Jonathan Davies in the center with a back-three consisting of Josh Adams, Owen Lane and McNicholl.
On the bench, Cardiff’s Ben Thomas could win a second international game. Wales haven’t beaten New Zealand since 1953, and only in 1903 and 1935 before that, so history is not on their side.
WALES XV for New Zealand: McNicholl; Lane, J. Davies, J. Williams, Adams; Anscombe, T Williams; W Jones, Owens, Francis, Beard, AW Jones, Moriarty, Basham, Wainwright.
Bank: Elias, Carré, Lewis, Rowlands, S Davies, G Davies, Priestland, B Thomas.