McBryde sings Anscombe praises

Gareth Anscombe

Wales coach Robin McBryde has paid tribute to Cardiff Blues utility back Gareth Anscombe's leadership skills.

Anscombe spent the majority of last season playing in the fly-half position for the Blues in the PRO12.

However, he has been named at full-back in McBryde's starting lineup for Wales' clash with Tonga at Eden Park in Auckland on Friday.

New-Zealand born Anscombe will be earning his 10th cap for his adopted country since settling in Wales in 2014.

And McBryde has said there is an added incentive at Eden Park for Anscombe to show how much he has improved since leaving Kiwi territory.

"I'm really looking forward to him coming home and performing in familiar territory," McBryde told Stuff.

"He hopefully wants to show people how much he's improved since he's been gone."

And McBryde has hailed Anscombe's ability to guide the younger players in the side as well as his communication and leadership skills.

McBryde has named eight uncapped players in his matchday 23 for Friday's encounter.

"I can't speak highly enough of what Gareth has brought to the trip. Right from the word go," McBryde said.

"He's on top of his game at the moment regionally and when you're playing well and aware of it you're a lot more vocal and that's what we need from someone like Gareth.

"He comes from a background of being able to play at a high tempo and because he's so comfortable, he's more than willing to step up and speak.

"By doing that, I'm sure players like Sam Davies and Owen Williams benefit from hearing him speak.

"It's much better as coaches being able to stand back, let the players get on with it and take ownership.

"That's one of the key messages, that they've got to problem solve themselves and Gareth has played a big role in that."

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