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.
Principality Stadium will host the UEFA Champions League Final in six weeks' time. WRU chairman Gareth Davies, Football Association of Wales chief executive Jonathan Ford and Ambassador Ian Rush joined young sports fans at the trophy arrival at the venue to celebrate the magnitude of the event on Saturday 3rd June (kick-off 19.45).
British and Irish Lions captain Sam Warburton is looking forward to bringing together players from Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales for the biggest challenge of their careers - a series against world champions, New Zealand.
For the fifth year running, Wales referee Nigel Owens will be in charge of proceedings at Judgement Day V at Principality Stadium. It promises to be 'extra special' for the Wales' favourite ref, as he will be making his 150th appearance in the league.
There will be no shortage of inside knowledge from Bowl Finalists Caerphilly and Amman United when they face each other on Sunday at National Finals Day. Caerphilly hooker Rhys Cleverly knows the Principality Stadium pitch better than most as a matchday groundsman, while Amman United can look to Wales' record try scorer Shane Williams for some helpful advice.
Two hundred and 40 teams competed in the inaugural Urdd WRU 7s held at Pencoed last week with Welsh internationals Steff Andrews and Jasmine Joyce impressed with the talent on display, as was Urdd chief executive, Sioned Hughes.
The countdown is on for Judgement Day V as tickets for the big day at Principality Stadium soar through the 50,000 mark. Players and coaches alike are bursting at the seams to play in the double header with Dragons coach Kingsley Jones claiming there is a 'real buzz' about the event.
WRU TV went behind the scenes when the four regions got together to test their skill set for the BBC's Scrum V Live rugby show, at the WRU National Centre of Excellene in the build up to Judgement Day V. Blues' Matthew Morgan was one of the stars of the show while the Dragons' Cory Hill proved a surprise package...the full set of results will be revealed on tv screens on matchday
Wales assistant coach Richie Pugh is confident his side can cause a few headaches in the Hong Kong Sevens this weekend. In a tough group, Wales kick off their campaign against New Zealand on Friday before playing Japan and Fiji, who are chasing their third consecutive Hong Kong title, on Saturday.
Bedwas had to overcome a stubborn Carmarthen Quins side before winning the Foster's Challenge Cup final in Bridgend with a 23-18 victory. Bedwas captain Nicky Griffiths pays tribute to his side who have claimed the club's first piece of silverware in the modern era.
Team coach Brett Davey is aiming to keep his unbeaten run in cup finals at Principality Stadium intact when his side take on Amman United in the WRU Bowl final, after he guided Caerphilly to a 20-14 win against Cilfynydd in the semi-finals.
Penallta are hoping to go one step further than last season when falling to Bedlinog in the WRU Plate Final. After a titanic struggle against Nant Conwy, they have given themselves a great chance, after a hard fought 18-13 semi-final victory.