Anscombe ready to run Chiefs' show
Wed, 09 Apr 2014 08:10
I'll have a big role to play
With Aaron Cruden ruled out for up to eight weeks with a fractured hand, Gareth Anscombe will be called on to take the reigns at flyhalf for the defending champion Chiefs.
Anscombe played flyhalf for the New Zealand Under-20 side and the Blues, in his debut Super Rugby season in 2012, but has had to run out at fullback for the Chiefs because of Cruden's strangle-hold on the number 10 jersey - until now.
Cruden arrived at the Chiefs from the Hurricanes for the 2012 Super Rugby season, and since then he has started at flyhalf for all 42 games that they have played since. However, his hand injury now gives the 22-year-old Anscombe a chance he is looking forward to taking.
"Obviously Cruden is a big loss.
"Everyone knows the class he brings to the side.
"We will, as a team, miss him," said Anscombe told NZ Newswire ahead of Saturday's match against the the Melbourne Rebels in Hamilton.
"It's up to me to step into his shoes, step up for the team and make sure I bring the same sort of leadership and direction that he's shown over the last few years."
Anscombe has not played at flyhalf since a Chiefs pre-season game against the Highlanders last year and the last time he pulled on the number 10 jersey in a competitive game was for Auckland in the ITM Cup in 2012, but going back to his old position is no problem he says and he is relishing the chance.
"I've trained there with the Chiefs throughout the last two years.
"It's a chance for me now to put that into practice on the field.
"I'm sure [the Rebels] will send a few runners my way.
"I'll have a big role to play in our defence, but at 10 I've really got to give this team good direction,"he added.
Anscombe has worked closely with Cruden over the past two seasons, and believes what he brings to the table is similar to the All Black flyhalf - so it won't affect the team's gameplan.
"Obviously there will be subtle little changes, but I've played with him enough over the last two years and seen him in action so I know the way we try and play as a team," Anscombe added.
Source: NZ Newswire
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