Newport's Powell Looking To Learn From The Master No8s
9 January 2002 17:15
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.
Sam Cross and Luke Treharne have been named as co-captains of the Wales Sevens side as head coach Gareth Williams names his 12-man squad to play in the first leg of the HSBC World Series in Dubai next weekend.
Bedwas head coach Steve Law and players Nicky Griffiths and Alun Rees extol the virtues of the close knit club as they prepare to host third place RGC 1404 - who are one place head of them on the Principality Premiership points table - on Saturday.
Many of the Wales squad have said Diolch (thank you) to someone who played an important part in their early playing days by nominating them to be invited to the Wales v South Africa match. One person, Gowerton Comprehensive geography teacher Mr Dean Mason was nominated by two of his former pupils, Dan Biggar and Sam Davies.
The second WRU disability rugby pilot has been delivered, this time in Caerphilly schools, culminating in a festival at the Caerphilly Centre of Sporting Excellence, Ystrad Mynach tomorrow. Plans are in place to set up a Disability Rugby Club in Newbridge to provide long-term playing opportunities.
WRU TV: Hear from inside the Wales camp as Neil Jenkins discusses this weekend's clash with South Africa and how the squad are looking to put in a strong performance to round of the 2016 Under Armour Series