It was recently announced that Gareth Anscombe left Cardiff blues for the Ospreys. It was a transfer saga filled with foreign interest, whom were going to pay the big bucks for the fly-half signature. With the move now completed, will it be positive or will Anscombe regret leaving the Arms Park?
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It’s somewhat positive for Anscombe and the Ospreys.
Wales has finally nailed down their first choice fly-half, with Anscombe being given the number 10 shirt. Therefore, Ospreys have signed one of the best fly-half in the Northern hemisphere which can only bring success to the Swansea based club.
Moreover, Ospreys already have the likes of George North and Alun Wyn Jones, alongside other Welsh internationals. By having Anscombe train constantly with other Welsh professionals, it will only strengthen his bond with his international team mates.
So it can be seen as a positive for Anscombe too. Arguably, the Ospreys are more competitive and have long term plans for greatness. Cardiff Blues on the other hand still remain competitive but their long term stability still remains inconclusive. Although this season tells a different story, as the Ospreys are only one point ahead of their Cardiff rivals.
Overall, Anscombe’s move can be seen as positive but rugby is a very unpredictable game. A few months ago the proposed merger between Scarlets and Ospreys shocked all the regions. Therefore, Anscombe’s future success at the Ospreys cannot be predicted anytime soon.
Sam Davies might have to leave.
The former junior world player of the year has struggled with the Ospreys in recent seasons. This is because when he is surrounded by high calibre players, especially a full strength Ospreys pack, he plays out of his skin. Sadly, when he is not surrounded by the likes of Alun Wyn Jones he gets charged down and does not play to the best of his ability.
Consequentially, this has made Allen Clarke to pick Luke Price ahead of Davies. With the addition of Wales first choice fly-half, it would seem Davies must ponder his future at the Ospreys. But where would he go?
At only twenty five years old, Davies still has great potential and still shows ambitions to pull on the Welsh jersey in the future. Therefore, it would be a shock if he left Wales to play in foreign pastures. It could be argued that the only sensible destination for Davies would be the Dragons.
This move would guarantee him consistent first team rugby which would only help him improve. On the other hand, Newport Gwent Dragons are the least consistent Welsh region in the Pro14, so his potential could be limited by this.
Ospreys will also have to ponder whether to keep Davies. Having two Welsh international fly halves and one with high potential, it would seem unproductive to keep all three at the club. The only reason they might keep Davies is to ensure they have a reliable back up for when Anscombe is on Wales duty.
Blues might be flustered for a while.
It’s never easy losing one of your best players, especially to a Welsh rival. It’s even more painful when the Blues lack depth. Yes, they have Jarrod Evans who has proven he can play consistent, good rugby but he still has lots of work to put in. These improvements will only come with game time, so arguably by Anscombe leaving he can improve upon his game and Blues might prosper because of that. Moreover, Anscombe would have been one of Blues highest paid players, so they can reinvest that money on some top quality forwards to reinforce their team.
Additionally, it would have been glorious to see Hallam Amos, Josh Adams and Mathew Morgan combine with Anscombe in the back line. The attacking potential in that team would make any top team ponder the strength of their defence. But yet again, the combination of players remaining fit and injury free for the majority of the season is low.
The Blues will struggle without Anscombe at the start but by giving Evans a chance it might prove to be prosperous for the Cardiff region.
It could be very beneficial for Wales.
If Sam Davies did join the Dragons, it could prove to be a dream come true for Wales. Having four, high quality Welsh fly-halves at each region, it gives Wales bountiful amounts of choice for the International team. With Rhys Patchell at the Scarlets, Jarrod Evans at Blues, Gareth Anscombe at the Ospreys and potentially Sam Davies at the Dragons, it will create fierce competition and will allow for all the regions to reap the benefits.
Therefore, for Anscombe, the Ospreys and Wales its a positive move. On the other hand, the Blues will struggle at the start but like any team, they will adjust to life without the Kiwi born ten and might find a diamond in the rough because of this.
Written by Sam Powell