Cardiff Blues have confirmed the signing of Gareth Anscombe from current Super Rugby champions Chiefs on a long-term deal.
Gareth's signing is an absolutely crucial one for Cardiff Blues, especially following the departure of Leigh Halfpenny, and it shows our absolute intention to strengthen and bring world class players to our region
Anscombe, who can play fly half or full back, will make the move to BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park this summer and joins the exciting new-look squad under the guidance of new Director of Rugby Mark Hammett.
Highly-rated back Anscombe, who qualifies for Wales through his mother, has been a star performer in New Zealand and scored an impressive 268 points in his Super Rugby career.
The 23-year-old guided New Zealand Under-20s to the Junior World Championship three years ago and his eye-catching performances were vital in the Chiefs landing the title in 2013.
Anscombe will join the Cardiff Blues later this year following the completion of his ITM Cup commitments with Auckland.
Richard Holland, Chief Executive of Cardiff Blues, hailed the news that Anscombe has signed a contract with the region as a huge statement of intent for the future.
"We are absolutely delighted that Gareth has decided to join the Cardiff Blues family. I'm sure supporters across Welsh rugby will be extremely excited about his arrival," he said.
"Gareth is a fantastically talented player, a true winner, after securing successive title with the Chiefs, and also a very driven and ambitious young man.
"When Mark Hammett was appointed as our new Director of Rugby we spoke about potential signings and Gareth was always top of that list. Hammer was extremely keen to bring him over and now we have concluded that deal after months of negotiations.
"Gareth's signing is an absolutely crucial one for Cardiff Blues, especially following the departure of Leigh Halfpenny, and it shows our absolute intention to strengthen and bring world class players to our region.
Anscombe said: "My decision to leave New Zealand has been a tough one. I have loved every minute of career here in NZ and would like to say a special thanks to the Chiefs and Auckland Rugby for everything they have done for me.
"However, in consultation with my family, I came to the conclusion that the opportunity in Wales was one that I simply couldn't turn down.
"I am really excited to be joining a region like Cardiff Blues. I was lucky enough to be able to visit last year so have a degree of familiarity with the club and people that will hopefully help me hit the ground running and start contributing to what I hope will be a successful season for the Blues.
"Much has been made about my Welsh eligibility and there is no doubt that my mother's side of the family have always reinforced my Welshness. However, I am under no illusions and my focus is very much on the Blues and if the opportunity to represent Wales comes as a result of my performances on the pitch then of course I will take it."
The Half a Game initiative is currently sweeping across Wales and proving a major success. The scheme aims to give every young player at least half a game every weekend. WRU TV recently visited a festival in Narberth where clubs have fully embraced the initiative.
Both Bargoed and Swansea were seeking their first win of the Principality Premiership season this afternoon. It proved a fruitful day for the hosts - not only did they win, but Bargoed claimed a try bonus point.
Cardiff managed to keep their unbeaten record at home intact, but only just as Bridgend made them work extremely hard before the Blue and Blacks secured a hard fought Principality Premiership win at the BT Sport Arms Park last night.
Former Wales back row Andy Powell gives a guided tour of The Wern, home of Merthyr RFC, who are determined to prove a lot of people wrong and make their mark in their first season in the Principality Premiership.
Wales Sevens head coach Gareth Williams looks back on the Rio Sevens success where he helped GB win silver. He believes the successful campaign is a huge boost to his Welsh squad as they prepare for another World Series, as WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie discovers
British and Irish Lions head coach Warren Gatland will be heading back home to take on the All Blacks next year where for him, success for 2017 is all about going to New Zealand and winning a Test Series.
Last week all roads led to Eugene Cross Park where defending champions Ebbw Vale hosted this season's launch of the Principality Premiership. WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie was there to capture the thoughts of Damien Hudd, captain of Ebbw Vale, and WRU Head of Performance, Geraint John.
Llandovery made it three in a row when they defeated Aberavon in the final of the National Foster's 7s at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park on Sunday. On another eventful day of sevens, Newport claimed the Plate and the Dragons won the women's crown
Last week saw Cardiff welcome players from around the world for the 21st Golden Oldies Festival. The tournament features players over 35 years of age, and this year's event saw a select few represent the WRU in a 'friendly' against the Wooden Spoon.
Wales Under 18 captain Callum Bradbury is delighted to have seen his side claim a narrow 18-17 victory against a strong SA Schools 'A' side to end the three-match Under 19 International Series in South Africa on a high note.
The Wales U18 squad spent an emotional day in the drug-riddled townnship of Hout Bay. Hout Bay Warriors President Fred Johannes said the visit was 'the talk of the town' and will dream about the day everyday for the rest of his life.
RGC 1404's new head coach Mark Jones is hoping to build 'something special' in north Wales and is already looking forward to the development region participating in the Principality Premiership for the very first time.