Gareth Anscombe looks on fast track for Wales

DUNCAN JOHNSTONE
Last updated 09:32 05/08/2014
Gareth Anscombe
MARK TAYLOR/ Fairfax NZ

FAST TRACK: Gareth Anscombe may be wearing the Welsh national jersey in no time after Wales coach Warren Gatland sought to have the Auckland utility back on a dual contract.

Gareth Anscombe
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HEADING ABROAD: Gareth Anscombe is being touted as a future Wales internationaal.

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New recruit Gareth Anscombe appears to be on a fast-track to the Welsh national team with his name on a reported wish-list of 10 players coach Warren Gatland wants on dual club and country contracts.

The ink has barely dried on Anscombe's move from the Chiefs to Cardiff and he was still to play out the NPC with Auckland, but the backline utility was clearly in line for international duties.

The 23-year-old was the only uncapped player on the list of players which featured Ospreys second row Alun-Wyn Jones, Cardiff Blues wing Alex Cuthbert, Scarlets trio with Scarlets Scott Williams, Ken Owens and Liam Williams, Blues prop Gethin Jenkins, Ospreys first-five Dan Biggar and Dragons No 8 Taulupe Faletau and Sam Warburton.

The Rugby Site produced the names as plenty of attention built on Wales' club v country contract row.

Gatland has made no secret of his hopes that Anscombe could be persuaded to switch allegiances to Wales and get active there in time to push his cause for next year's World Cup where his versatility in the No 10 and 15 jerseys and goalkicking talents appealed.

Warburton was currently the only player on a central contract with the Welsh union.

But the national body was in a battle with the regional clubs. The regions have a joint agreement that they would not allow anyone who had a central contract to represent them. The same applied to clubs in England.

Gatland was keen to stem the flow of Welsh players to France and also gain clearer guidelines over player availability for national training camps.

The Guardian reported that without an agreement with the WRU, the regions were obliged to release players only under International Rugby Board regulations.

That meant Gatland would not have his players a week early before the November internationals or the Six Nations and those based in Wales would not be permitted to join any pre-World Cup camp, unless the union made a substantial financial offer.

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