Rugby Union 3 years ago

Anscombe ready for rematch with Folau

  • Anscombe ready for rematch with Folau

Wales fullback Gareth Anscombe has only faced off against Israel Folau on two occasions at Super Rugby level, but one thing about the Wallabies and Waratahs star sticks out in his memory.

"He climbed all over me on the high balls a few times," the 24-year-old Anscombe recalled on Thursday.

The two-time John Eales medal winner was the victor on both occasions, with Anscombe coming off the bench for the Chiefs in two defeats to the Waratahs in 2013 and 2014 as Folau crossed for tries in both matches.

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But Anscombe's main memories come from a narrow 25-20 loss at Allianz Stadium in Sydney, when Anscombe was thrown into the action after just 18 minutes following an injury to Chiefs fullback Andrew Horrell.

He held his own and scored a try as part of a 15-point haul - but former NRL and AFL star Folau had the last laugh as his first-half five-pointer proved decisive in the tight victory.

The pair will match-up again after Folau passed a fitness test on his rolled ankle on Thursday and the New Zealand-born Anscombe was named for his first start for Wales - joining the squad when backline duo Hallam Amos and Scott Williams were ruled out of the tournament with injuries suffered against England.

A three-year Super Rugby stint has prepared the Auckland-born Anscombe, who qualifies due to a Cardiff-born mother, for what to expect from the Wallabies.

"We know the dangers we face, but with the back line we've got, hopefully we can cause a few problems," he said.

"Aussie sides are very smart in terms of how they play tactically, and they don't miss a beat.

"They like to use the ball, and they have looked pretty sharp. We will have to be on our toes defensively to not give them too many opportunities.

"It's a big game for this team. We want to finish top of the pool and stamp our authority.

"The team is confident and it's a huge occasion on the weekend."


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