Newport's Powell Looking To Learn From The Master No8s
9 January 2002 17:15pm
Newport No 8 Andrew Powell is hoping two master classes in back row play over the next week will help him further his claims for a place in the Welsh Six Nations camapign.
The precocious 20-year-old lines-up against Samoan legend Pat Lam in Newport's final Heineken Cup tie against Newcastle on Friday and then Wales skipper and Lions ace Scott Quinnell the following week.
It all adds up to a sharp learning curve for the many many are tipping to
be a part of the Wales set-up for years to come, but then every game this
winter has been a new challenge to the find of the season in Wales to date.
"I want to play at the highest level and so playing against people of the
calibre of Lam and Quinnell can only be good for me," said Powell.
"I am learning with every game and it is great for a youngster like myself
to be preparing to play against some of the game's greatest No 8s.
"Pat and Scott are hugely powerful and influential players. I look forward
to the big clashes and it would be nice to prove a point or two against them.
"I haven't really modelled myself on anyone else - I just do what comes
naturally to me. At the start of the season my aim was to pick up as many
games for Newport as possible and play for Wales Under 21.
"Since I've broken into the Newport side I've played for Wales A and trained with the senior squad. The goal is to play for Wales one day, but I'm not going to rush things - I'll take whatever comes my way."
Powell added to his reputation in Toulouse last weekend with a great run
that paved the way for Newport's first try against the French champions in
their 36-23 defeat.
The aim on Friday night is to round off their second major European campaign
with a double over the English Cup holders and give the side a boost prior
to their top ofthe Welsh/Scottish League showdown with the Scarlets the
"We want to go out on a high and we'll be putting everything into it. These
are two very big games for the club," said Newport coach Ian McIntosh.
McIntosh has switched Shane Howarth to his former international position of
full back for the Newcastle clash to give Matt Pini a well earned break.
Newport: S Howarth; M Mostyn, A Marinos, J Pritchard, M Watkins; J Strange,
O Tonu'u; R Snow, J Richards, C Anthony, S Raiwalui (captain), I Gough, P
Buxton, J Forster, A Powell.
Nearly 40 players were involved in the first Wales Under 18 training session of the season. WRU National Performance Manager Gethin Watts is excited at the potential shown by the group and expects the Regional Under 18 Championship to hone their skills even further.