Gareth Anscombe to join Ospreys from Cardiff Blues after World Cup as fly-half decides not to sacrifice Wales career by leaving the country
- Gareth Anscombe had been linked with a move to Premiership or overseas
- But he has chosen to remain in Wales and fight for place in national team
- He has informed Cardiff Blues that he will be leaving the club to join Ospreys
- Sources have indicated Cardiff Blues are ‘very disappointed’ in the decision
Gareth Anscombe will not sacrifice his Wales career by moving to England next season as he has decided jump ship from Cardiff Blues to the Ospreys.
Sportsmail understands Anscombe informed the capital region that he would be leaving on Monday to move to Swansea after the World Cup.
The 27-year-old fly-half, who helped Wales seal the Six Nations Grand Slam in March, was out of contract with the Blues at the end of the season.
Gareth Anscombe will be leaving the Cardiff Blue to join the Ospreys next season
And he was unhappy at new Welsh Rugby Union rules that are to put players’ salaries into bands, based on their status within the game.
After the Six Nations he threatened a Welsh exodus if the stars were not paid properly.
‘We all want to play for Wales there is no doubt about that, but players need to be treated well and we deserve to be,’ he said in March.
‘We’ve given the union something to be pretty proud about and hopefully the union and the regions come together and sort out the best deals for the players because that’s important.
‘We are doing a hell of a lot for the team and the country so we should be looked after.
Sources have indicated Cardiff Blues are ‘very disappointed’ that Anscombe will be leaving – and were ready to offer him a new deal around the £350,000 mark.
Anscombe wants to stay in Wales and fight for his place in the national side
The region set him a deadline of this week to make his decision, and Anscombe has chosen to leave but stay in Wales.
The New Zealand-born No 10, who has a Welsh mother, joined the Blues in 2014 and made his Wales debut a year later.
He has now been snapped up by the Ospreys – who almost went out of existence two months ago having agreed to merge with the Scarlets next year, before performing a dramatic u-turn.
The move means Anscombe can continue playing for the national side. If he had moved to England – where Bath, Bristol and Harlequins circled – he would have ended his Wales career as he has 34 caps short of the required 60 to play abroad.
Anscombe was one of the key players for Wales in their Grand Slam earlier this year
Cardiff Blues play the Ospreys in ‘Judgement Day’ on Saturday at the Principality Stadium in the Pro 14, as the Scarlets also face the Dragons.
Wales head coach Warren Gatland will be in attendance, returning from New Zealand where he has been since winning a record third Six Nations Grand Slam, so it will be one of the last chances players have to impress the boss before he picks a squad for the World Cup summer camps.
Wales are likely to announce a wider training squad next week to gather at their Vale of Glamorgan training-base from June.
The No 2 ranked side in the world then have camps set for Switzerland, at altitude, and Turkey, in the heat, between warm-up games against England and Ireland home and away in August and September.
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