Gareth Anscombe could take a big step towards deciding his future next week as he makes an appeal to the Professional Rugby Board.
The Wales fly-half has been outspoken in his criticism of Project Reset after kicking his country to a Grand Slam win over Ireland at the Principality Stadium last weekend, with the new wage banding brought in as part of the agreement restricting how much he can earn playing for one of the Welsh regions.
He is quoted as saying that “it (Project Reset) has made all the boys think about it (leaving)”, as well as stating “players have been let down a bit when you look at results we have provided them.
“We’ve only got a 10-year window to really look after ourselves, and I guess the important thing is you don’t want to look back with any regrets. We all want to play for Wales – there is no doubt about that – but players need to be treated well, and we deserve to be.”
It is reported that Anscombe has only been placed in a banding with a ceiling of £350,000 for his new contract, but with Bath having reportedly offered wages of around £500,000 a year, and Harlequins also believed to be interested in acquiring his signature, there are no shortage of suitors lining up to the speak to Anscombe.
Having led Wales to a first win over Australia in a decade, as well as a first Grand Slam since 2012, it is easy to see where the Cardiff Blues player is coming from.
If the PRB agree to improving his banding then there is a very real possibility of Anscombe staying in Wales, however if his request is denied then his future could be elsewhere.
Of course, increasing his banding would be a blow to the PRB’s new deal early in it’s existence, so while it is a no-brainer from a playing point of view, the political ramifications could be wide ranging.