Gareth Anscombe grew up dreaming of playing for the All Blacks — like tens of thousands of other Kiwi boys.
But last night he was decked out in the national colours of Wales as his adopted nation took on the All Blacks at Eden Park.
Among his supporters to watch him in action — he started the match on the bench — was his beautiful girlfriend, Milica Bubanja, who travelled from the couple’s Cardiff base to cheer on the former Blues, Chiefs and New Zealand Under-20 player.
Bubanja — also a Kiwi — flew into New Zealand on Friday.
“I am extremely proud of how far he has come,” she told Spy.
“He’s a very determined person and it has always been a goal of his to play on an international level so it’s been rewarding to watch him achieve that goal.
“I know his parents, sisters and extended family in Wales, New Zealand and Australia feel the same and they are getting their ‘Red’ ready for if/when he gets an opportunity over the next few weeks.”
The couple have embraced life in Cardiff.
Anscombe moved to Wales in the 2014-15 season to take up a contract with the Cardiff Blues and was fast-tracked into the Welsh national team. He qualifies because of his mother’s Welsh heritage.
“Cardiff life has been great,” Bubanja said.
“We have a good group of Kiwis over there, some have played with Gareth in New Zealand and others we met over there. The Welsh were more than inviting when we arrived so it’s nice to have made some new friends through the move.”
Bubanja is an engineer adviser for Welsh Water.
The couple have made the most of their OE, travelling to New York, Santorini, Mykonos and Tenerife and had a fun-filled trip to London last month.
Anscombe celebrated his 25th birthday in Cardiff last month with Bubanja and fellow Cardiff Blues’ player and former All Black, Jarrad Hoeata and his wife, Nicola.