Star Wales playmaker Gareth Anscombe has been linked with a big-money switch from Pro14 outfit Cardiff to ambitious Premiership club Bristol.
The Rugby Paper is reporting that the experienced 27-year-old pivot, who helped steer Wales to a Six Nations Grand Slam title last month, has been offered a deal in the region of £500,000-per-year to make the move to the Bears.
With 26 tests to his name, the shift would bring an end to his four-year-long test career as only foreign-based players with 60 test caps or more are eligible to still play for Wales.
Anscombe’s contract with the Blues expires at the end of the season, and has previously spoken out about the inequalities faced by Welsh players compared to the riches that exist within the English and French rugby landscapes.
“We’ve only got a 10-year window to look after ourselves and the important thing is you don’t want to look back with regrets,” he told The Times a fortnight ago.
London-based club Harlequins are another side interested in securing Anscombe’s services, so a move outside of Wales at the end of the 2018-19 club campaign isn’t entirely out of the question.
Should he decide to leave Cardiff for either Bristol or Harlequins, the World Cup in five months’ time would act as Anscombe’s swansong event in the international arena.
A transfer to Bristol would see Anscombe reunite with former Blues coach Pat Lam, who coached the New Zealand-born first-five at Super Rugby level in 2012.
Anscombe isn’t the only option on Lam’s first-five wish list, with the 50-year-old coach looking into the prospect of bringing in Irish-born USA first-five AJ MacGinty from Premiership rivals Sale Sharks.
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