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."
With Liam Williams forced out of the World Cup through injury, lock Luke Charteris and Skills Coach Neil Jenkins say they have to put yesterday's defeat behind them as Wales now look ahead to another physical encounter against South Africa in the quarter-finals of the Rugby World Cup.
Winger Alex Cuthbert is hoping get plenty of ball on the front foot against Australia tomorrow at Twickenham as Wales seek to halt the Wallabies' 10-match winnning streak which stretches back almost seven years.
Twelve young people have been selected to follow a one year WRU Coach Core apprenticeship programme. Coach Core was set up by the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry as part of the Olympics legacy in 2012 and the Duke of Cambridge was on hand to meet the apprentices on their first day in the job. The programme has been funded by the Hunter Foundation.
We look back on the victory over Fiji that makes it three from three for Wales in this World Cup, in a special extra Principality Welsh Rugby Union Podcast. We hear from Wales coach Warren Gatland, captain Sam Warburton, plus Gethin Jenkins, Tomas Francis, Alun Wyn Jones, Dan Biggar, Matthew Morgan and Tyler Morgan, as well as defence coach Shaun Edwards and getting the Fijian perspective from coach John McKee.
We look forward to the Ospreys v Blues derby clash in this week's Principality Welsh Rugby Union Podcast. Ospreys No 8 Dan Baker talks about the pain of missing out on the World Cup, as does Dragons wing Tom Prydie. Blues director of rugby Danny Wilson looks forward to his first Welsh derby in charge, we also hear from Dragons lock Matthew Screech and Wales Sevens team manager Steff Thomas.
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