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Gareth Anscombe opens up on World Cup-ending injury: 'I could have played a key role'

Wales' Kiwi first-five Gareth Anscombe has opened up about the heartbreak of missing this year's Rugby World Cup in Japan, ruled out after a knee injury suffered last month.

Anscombe, 28, had become a key cog in coach Warren Gatland's Wales side in his limited game time this year, before ligament damage in his right knee ended the versatile Kiwi's 2019 plans.

As a result, Anscombe will spend nine months on the sidelines, with no chance of travelling to his second World Cup with Wales.

Speaking to the BBC, Anscombe detailed his struggles in coming to terms with his injury.

"I guess when Japan comes around that will be the hardest time to deal with it," Anscombe told the BBC.

"It was tough to take after a thorough eight weeks in a gruelling training camp. The most frustrating thing was that I had such a fitness base and my body was feeling fit and healthy.

"For it to be taken away was a tough pill to swallow and I can't say it has fully hit me yet.

"I had been working towards this tournament for a long while and felt I could have played a key role in helping the team achieve something pretty special.

"So I suppose the hardest time for me will be waking up and watching the boys play in Japan."

Anscombe had also played for Wales in the 2015 World Cup in England. However, this time around he would have been a more significant member of Gatland's side, able to contribute at both first-five and fullback.

Wales' Gareth Anscombe Source: Associated Press