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Anscombe to sign for Ospreys

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Gareth Anscombe to sign for bitter regional rivals after snubbing Premiership switch - reports

After weeks of speculation about his future destination – reports coming out of Wales suggest the Cardiff Blues star is set to sign for rival Ospreys.

Simon Thomas of WalesOnline is reporting that Anscombe snubbed bigger money deals in the Premiership, preferring the option that would allow him to stay in the national setup with Wales.

Anscombe captained the Cardiff Blues as they traveled to Galway in what was a must-win clash for Guinness PRO14 side. They lost, effectively bringing their competitive season to an end.

Now Anscombe is set to deal Cardiff a second blow – namely that he will sign for the Ospreys. While it’s bad news for Cardiff, it’s good news for the Welsh national team, who will continue to avail of his services as an international.

Anscombe’s national dual contract with the WRU and Cardiff expires in June and he would be ineligible for the World Cup in Japan if he signed a contract to leave Wales before the finals because he doesn’t have the 60 caps exiles require to be picked.

The New Zealand born 10 was unhappy with the pay deal he was being offered under the new pay structure. That structure limits him to an annual offer that has a £350,000 ceiling.

It’s considerably less than many big-spending Premiership clubs were allegedly willing to stump up £500,000 to get the Cardiff playmaker to come to England and give up his Test career with Wales.

Just over a week ago Cardiff head coach John Mulvihill got it half right. “He wants to play test rugby. He doesn’t want to leave,” he told the BBC.

“You’re never confident until you see a signature on a piece of paper but I think we’ll be very close. I don’t think he’s leaving Wales.

“To be fair to him, I feel a bit sorry for Gareth. His name’s been touted about all over the place and that’s not from him. He’s one of the leaders in our group and I can’t see that changing anytime soon.

“This is his first club in Wales, all his mates play here, he lives in Cardiff, he’s happy here and his wife’s happy here in work.

“It’s up to him to make those final decisions but when we come down to those decisions it’s going to be based around the programme, and we’re currently the best team in Wales and performing the best this season.

“I don’t think he’d want to move away from that and he’s been a big part of our success. I’d say he’d want to stay.”

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Gareth Anscombe to sign for bitter regional rivals after snubbing Premiership switch - reports