Andy Powell is back in Wales with Newport Gwent Dragons
Wales international Andy Powell believes fans of Newport Gwent Dragons will see the very best of him when he runs out at Rodney Parade next season.
Powell agreed a summer switch to the Dragons earlier this month but his critics have already written off his chances of ousting Taulupe Faletau and Netani Talei from the No8 shirt in Newport.
The 32-year-old hasn't played since last September when he suffered a neck injury with Wigan Warriors after crossing codes but he reckons the lengthy lay off won't affect him as he gets set to show he can still cut it at the top level.
"I've got loads left in the tank, believe me," Powell told the South Wales Argus. "I had eight months of doing nothing because of my neck injury but give me four weeks and I'll be chomping at the bit and out there like a racehorse.
"A lot of people can knock you but I'm looking forward to the challenge here and proving them wrong. I have been around for a while and a lot of people say I'm too old, but there's no chance of that. I still feel young, fit, fast and powerful."
Powell won 23 caps for Wales after starring on his debut against South Africa in 2008 and was a British & Irish Lions tourist back in 2009 but he hasn't featured for the national side since 2012.
He has no intention of living off his past achievements as he looks towards life with his new side and he insists he is desperate to make an impression in what is a particularly competitive area of the Dragons squad.
"I'm not looking back, I want to make an impact here and show my qualities," added Powell.
"Ball carrying is my biggest asset but I've been brought in for my work rate, skill set, offloading and all-round game.
"I'm looking forward to the competition for places and I'm not going to be sitting back - I want that start, wherever it is in the back row. That's the attitude that Kingsley (head coach Kingsley Jones) and Lyn (Director of rugby Lyn Jones) want from every individual in the squad."
Meanwhile, former Dragons coach Darren Edwards has joined English outfit Bath rugby as first team coach ahead of the new season.
Edwards, who spent five years with the Dragons, left Rodney Parade in February of this year but has now agreed to join Mike Ford's coaching staff at The Rec, where he will link up with his old London Irish colleagues Toby Booth and Neal Hatley.
"I can't wait to get started at Bath," said Edwards, who previously coached Wales U20. "They have a fantastic and dynamic young squad, who have masses of potential to build on.
"It's a really exciting time to be joining the club and I'm looking forward to helping them reach the ambitions they have over the coming seasons."
Forwards coach Robyn McBryde says tomorrow's RBS 6 Nations clash against Italy gives Wales an opportunity to finish second in the tournament after having the wind knocked from their sails last week against England.
Wales head coach Warren Gatland tells WRU TV that his selection for the final clash of the RBS 6 Nations against Italy is an opportunity for some players to redeem themselves after Saturday's loss to England
Wales head coach Warren Gatland is expecting 'one heck of a game' when his side tackle England at Twickenham on Saturday in the RBS 6 Nations. He believes whoever wins the game, could go on to win the championship.
Wales head coach Warren Gatland sticks to an experienced side to face England at Twickenham on Saturday where he says his side are approaching the RBS 6 Nations clash as a 'final' - if they win against the red rose brigade on Saturday then they are in the driving seat for the Six Nations title.
Wales speedster Luke Morgan has bounced back from injury and burst through the 50-try barrier for Wales on the Sevens World Series. This weekend in Las Vegas he is hoping to inch near the all-time Welsh record held by Tal Selley.
The WRU has enlisted some of the biggest names in the game to launch the next phase of its Continuous Professional Development (CPD) programme for community coaches at all levels - just like this one hosted by Duncan Jones.
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Judgment Day IV had broken every attendance record in the history of Welsh domestic rugby before a ball had been kicked at Principality Stadium today and Welsh Rugby Union chairman Gareth Davies had two things to say to the 68,262 supporters who turned up to show their allegiance to their national sport - 'thank you' and 'please come back soon'.