'It was tough to take': Gareth Anscombe reveals World Cup injury anguish
The 28-year-old sustained a serious knee injury during a World Cup warm-up game against England at Twickenham last month, ruling him out of this month’s tournament.
Consequently, Anscombe could be sidelined for up to nine months, but what stings more is the fact that the Kiwi-born 28-year-old will be forced to watch rugby’s global showpiece event from home in Wales.
“I guess when Japan comes around that will be the hardest time to deal with it,” Anscombe said according to the BBC.
“It was tough to take after a thorough eight weeks in a gruelling training camp. The most frustrating thing was that I had such a fitness base and my body was feeling fit and healthy.
“For it to be taken away was a tough pill to swallow and I can’t say it has fully hit me yet.
“Those are the things I will miss, even stepping out of the Wales WhatsApp group a couple of weeks ago was tough.
“I had been working towards this tournament for a long while and felt I could have played a key role in helping the team achieve something pretty special.
“So I suppose the hardest time for me will be waking up and watching the boys play in Japan.”
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Anscombe started the game despite his knee not feeling fully right, and it counted against him after side-stepping England fullback Elliot Daly.
Feeling pain and aware that his knee wasn’t functioning properly, Anscombe decided to play on for a further 20 minutes, and even kicked a conversion before leaving the field.
?”It was a funny 20 minutes,” he said.
“I was feeling good and it was all done on the run down the sidelines and stepping Daly.
“I went to step him running full speed, a motion I have done countless times before.
“I just felt a pop and remember hitting the deck and did not feel right. We checked the knee and structurally it was positive so we did our best to carry on.
“I was then kicking the ball out of hand and it felt looser not stable. I did a chip kick at the end, a shot to nothing, and I knew I was coming off.”
Placed on crutches by the end of the match, Anscombe was hopeful he would only be out of action for around five weeks.
What transpired, though, was an ACL tear diagnosis, leaving him on a rehabilitation schedule until next May and effectively ruining his Pro14 season with his new club Ospreys.
During his time off, Anscombe will run his newly-formed company, which acts as a search-engine comparison site for sports, fitness and well-being, alongside fellow Welsh international Alex Cuthbert and others.
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