Wales reveal their playmaker for All Blacks clash
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Gareth Anscombe is set to make his first Test start in more than two years after being named at flyhalf in the Wales side to play New Zealand in Cardiff on Saturday.
The New Zealand-born No.10 has not played 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: 15 Johnny McNicholl, 14 Owen Lane, 13 Jonathan Davies, 12 Johnny Williams, 11 Josh Adams, 10 Gareth Anscombe, 9 Tomos Williams, 8 Aaron Wainwright, 7 Taine Basham, 6 Ross Moriarty, 5 Alun Wyn Jones (captain), 4 Adam Beard, 3 Tomas Francis, 2 Ken Owens, 1 Wyn Jones.
Replacements: 16 Ryan Elias, 17 Rhys Carre, 18 Dillon Lewis, 19 Will Rowlands, 20 Seb Davies, 21 Gareth Davies, 22 Rhys Priestland, 23 Ben Thomas.
Date: Saturday, October 30
Venue: Principality Stadium, Cardiff
Kick-off: 17.15 (16.15 GMT; 05.15 NZDT Sunday, October 31)
Referee: Mathieu Raynal (France)
Assistant Referees: Karl Dickson (England), Christophe Ridley (England)
TMO: Brian MacNeice (Ireland)