Anscombe makes Wales squad

Published: Tuesday 20th January 2015 by The News Editor

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New Zealand-born Gareth Anscombe has been named in the Wales squad for this season’s RBS 6 Nations Championship.

The Cardiff Blues fly-half, 23, moved to Wales earlier this season and has made just nine appearances for his regional side.

Anscombe, whose mother was born in Wales, is among four uncapped players in a 34-man group announced by head coach Warren Gatland.

Anscombe will be joined by fellow Test rookies in Newport Gwent Dragons centre Tyler Morgan, Scarlets prop Rob Evans and Blues hooker Kristian Dacey.

There are no places, though, for 95 times-capped Blues prop Adam Jones or Gloucester fly-half James Hook.

Hook’s omission is not a surprise – he was left out of Gatland’s autumn Test squad earlier this season – yet 33-year-old Adam Jones had been tipped for a recall after Scarlets forward Rhodri Jones suffered a shoulder injury.

But Gatland has chosen Samson Lee, Aaron Jarvis and Scott Andrews as his three tighthead props, raising fresh question marks over Jones’ international future.

Anscombe, meanwhile, offers Gatland options at fly-half and full-back, although it remains to be see whether he features in the match-day 23 for Wales’ Six Nations opener against England in Cardiff on February 6.

Elsewhere in the squad there is a recall for fit-again Scarlets scrum-half Gareth Davies, who joins fellow number nines Rhys Webb and Mike Phillips, with Morgan featuring among the centres.

Morgan, who is among seven players to have signed a national dual contract in Wales, has also been named in the Wales Under-20 squad for their Six Nations campaign, and he will be released from the senior camp to link up with the age group side.

Gatland said: “It’s great to be able to name such an experienced squad that also boasts some exciting young talent.

“The four uncapped players have all been going well for their respective regions, and it will be good to see them in this environment and we hope they take the opportunity.

“They come into a squad packed with experience, and that experience will be important to us over the next eight weeks and the year as a whole.

“We all know how tough the Six Nations is, and we kick the tournament off with a huge game against England, and that is something you have to be excited about and look forward to.

“We were pleased on the whole with the autumn campaign, and this is another opportunity for us as we look ahead to a very big year in the rugby calendar.”

Wales will also face England in their World Cup pool later this year, while their Six Nations campaign features away games against Scotland, France and Italy, plus a Millennium Stadium appointment with Ireland.

Published: Tuesday 20th January 2015 by The News Editor

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