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."
The Women's Rugby World Cup warm-up clash between Wales and USA proved bittersweet for centre Elen Evans. Despite being one of the star performers on the day on her 50th Test appearance, USA edged home 10-7 at Cross Keys.
Wales U20 head coach Byron Hayward and back row Will Boyde believe defence will be the key when they face Ireland tomorrow in the second pool game of the Junior World Championship being held in New Zealand.
Tension was palpable as players waited to hear the announcment of the Wales touring squad of South Africa. Matthew Morgan was one of four uncapped players named in the squad after impressing in the Wales Senior Trial.
Wales Trial, Principality Premiership Awards evening and Wales U20s in this week's Principality Welsh Rugby Union Podcast. We hear from Jamie Roberts and Matthew Rees about the Wales Trial, captain Dafydd Lockyer talks about Pontypridd dominating the Principality Premiership awards, while ahead of the start of the Junior World Championships we talk to Tom Williams, Steffan Hughes, Jack Dixon and Nicky Smith.
Coaches Rob Howley and Robin McBryde today confirmed their Probables and Possibles teams to take part in Friday's Wales Senior Trial at the Liberty Stadium and both are predicting some mouth-watering head-to-heads.
Possibles coach Robin McBryde has given his team a licence to thrill in Friday's Wales Senior Trial match. He tells WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie that his side will be determined to ruffle a few feathers against the favourites, the Probables.
We look at the squads for the Wales trial, European finals weekend and Wales U20 on this week's Principality Welsh Rugby Union Podcast. We hear from Warren Gatland and Rob Howley on the trial, full back Hallam Amos on his summer hopes, Wales legend Ieuan Evans welcomes European rugby finals weekend to Cardiff and Wales U20 hooker Ethan Lewis looks ahead to the Junior World Championships.
Wales Under 20 head coach Byron Hayward says last night's 31-19 win over Scotland was a crucial building block as the Junior World Cup rapidly approaches. WRU TV's Liz Jones gets his post match reaction.
Wales defence coach Shaun Edwards relives London Wasps triumphs in the Amlin and Heineken Cups in 2003 and 2004 and looks ahead to this year's Heineken and Amlin finals in Cardiff, as well as the Wales trial match.
Simon Easterby is leaving the Scarlets to take up the role of forwards coach with Ireland. The west Wales region confirmed today that their former captain and coach will be allowed to leave his current position at the club to step back onto the international stage.
Wales and British & Irish Lions flanker Justin Tipuric is 'progressing nicely' following his post-season shoulder surgery and is among a host of Ospreys players gearing up for a return in the new season.
Welsh Rugby Union chief executive Roger Lewis today welcomed the dawn of a 'new era' for rugby's premier professional club competition in Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales alongside the announcement of the new GUINNESS PRO12 fixtures.
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