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."
Wales Head Coach Warren Gatland discusses his team selection for the opening round of the RBS 6 Nations where he leads his side against Ireland, on Sunday. As WRU TV's Luke Brodley discovers, Gatland is fully aware of the challenges the defending champions pose
WRUTV caught up with Wales Women captain Rachel Taylor at the RBS 6 Nations launch and how a good crowd really helps boost the girls performance. Tickets for all three Women's home games at The Gnoll, Neath are available from www.wru.wales/tickets
The Wales Sevens squad had some spare time to kill while waiting for a training session in Dubai, so decided to play: Let's head a football into a rubbish bin. It seemed such a simple idea at the time....
Wales full back Hallam Amos and Sam Warburton's father Jez took part in the second High Performance Parenting workshop at the NCE. Aimed at the parents of the Wales Under 18 squad, the theme of the evening was on managing the demands of education for the young players alongside their rugby performance programmes.
With Liam Williams forced out of the World Cup through injury, lock Luke Charteris and Skills Coach Neil Jenkins say they have to put yesterday's defeat behind them as Wales now look ahead to another physical encounter against South Africa in the quarter-finals of the Rugby World Cup.
Round four of the newly formed girls regional progamme at Under 18 level sees the Dragons take on the Blues at Ystrad Mynach (Kick off 10.30am) and the Ospreys host the Scarlets at Llandarcy with an 11am kick-off.