Anscombe to start for Wales against New Zealand

London (AFP) – Gareth Anscombe is set to make his first Test start in more than two years after being named at fly-half in the Wales side to play New Zealand in Cardiff on Saturday.


The New Zealand-born stand-off has not playing a Test match since August 2019, when he suffered major ligament damage in a World Cup warm-up against England.

But with English-based Dan Biggar and Callum Sheedy unavailable for this weekend's match as their clubs are not obliged to release them for a match taking place outside the International Rugby Board's designated window for Tests, Ospreys No 10 Anscombe was chosen in the team announced by Wales coach Wayne Pivac on Thursday.

Anscombe got the nod ahead of Rhys Priestland, who is on the bench.

The scheduling of Saturday's fixtures means Wales are also without first-choice players in wing Louis Rees-Zammitt and No. 8 Taulupe Faletau among seven England-based players.

Wales will also be missing the likes of George North, Leigh Halfpenny, Justin Tipuric and Josh Navidi as they seek a first win over New Zealand since 1953.

Wales team to play New Zealand at the Principality Stadium, Cardiff, on Saturday (1615 GMT kick-off):

Wales (15-1)

Johnny McNicholl; Owen Lane, Jonathan Davies, Johnny Williams, Josh Adams; Gareth Anscombe, Tomos Williams; Aaron Wainwright, Taine Basham , Ross Moriarty; Alun Wyn Jones (capt), Adam Beard; Tomas Francis, Ryan Elias, Wyn Jones

Replacements: Kirby Myhill, Rhys Carre, Dillon Lewis, Will Rowlands, Seb Davies, Gareth Davies, Rhys Priestland, Ben Thomas

Coach: Wayne Pivac (NZL)