Anscombe and Halaholo to miss Wales' New Zealand tour

FILE PHOTO: Rugby Union - Six Nations Championship - Scotland v Wales - BT Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh, Britain - March 9, 2019 Wales' Gareth Anscombe celebrates after the match REUTERS/Russell Cheyne

(Reuters) - Wales head coach Wayne Pivac has ruled Gareth Anscombe and Willis Halaholo out of next year’s tour to New Zealand because of their long-standing knee injuries.

New Zealand-born flyhalf Anscombe missed the World Cup in Japan after suffering an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury in a warm-up match against England in August.

Welsh club Ospreys said on Saturday that Anscombe has been forced to undergo a second operation, and Pivac is not considering him to face the All Blacks.

“Gareth’s working his way back from an ACL injury, which has had its problems in the healing process,” Pivac, who has taken over the Wales job from his fellow New Zealander Warren Gatland, told 1 News in New Zealand.

“He’s looking like he’ll miss the New Zealand tour. The main thing is that he gets that knee right and gets back to 100 percent.”

Halaholo, also New Zealand-born, qualified to play for Wales this year through residency rules but suffered a season-ending knee injury before he could play against the Barbarians last month.

Pivac said Halaholo has “ruptured his ACL” and will also miss the rest of the season.

Wales will begin their test series against the All Blacks in Auckland on July 4, before the second test in Wellington seven days later.

Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Ian Chadband