Melbourne Rebels’ new recruit Joe Powell, says a new opportunity for professional growth and the chance to join an emerging Rebels’ playing group, were two strong factors behind his surprise move to the Stockade.
On Thursday, Powell was unveiled as the Rebels’ first new player signing for season 2021, as the club looked to bolster its scrum-half stocks, following the return of Ryan Louwrens to Melbourne’s Japanese partners, the Kintetsu Liners.
The twenty-six-year-old says despite the challenges associated with relocating to a new city, he’s excited to embark on this new chapter in his stellar playing career.
“It was obviously a tough decision to go down to Melbourne but it’s probably a good opportunity for myself with a new environment, new coaching and a good time in my playing career to keep growing,” said Powell.
“I know plenty of the boys who are down there through the Wallabies’ camps, so it’s definitely a good group down there and I’m excited to be a part of it.”
2020 has been a rewarding year for the new Melbourne Rebel.
After leading the ACT Brumbies to Super Rugby AU glory and making Team of the Season honours last month, Powell was also included in Dave Rennie’s new-look 44-man Wallabies touring squad for the upcoming 2020 Test Season.
Despite the growing accolades, Powell remains anything but satisfied, believing there’s still more room for improvement heading into season 2021.
“The season was probably a tough season really – starting and stopping.”
“What I try to do every year is to be consistent with how I approach the game.
“Part of my game is allowing the players around me to have a good game as well, so in that respect we had a good year.
“Definitely there’s things to work on and ways of imposing myself on a game as well.”
The former Brumbies vice-captain exploded onto the Australian Test scene at just twenty-two-years-old in 2017, having played just seven games of Super Rugby in the process.
Four years and over sixty Super Rugby games later, Powell is once again pushing for national selection, albeit with a greater sense of maturity and a stronger voice.
“It’s a big step up and a big occasion and the atmosphere and the whole occasion and hype around the game weeks is something that’s different but something I’ve always been a part of being in a lot of squads.”
"My first time in this set-up I was 22, so I was probably a bit quieter and didn’t have as much confidence around the group, so I’d just listen a lot more.
“Having the opportunity at the Brumbies to be a part of the leadership group has helped me out a lot, and I’ve enjoyed it.
"I thought I might have been playing club footy for the rest of the year, so I was really excited to get the late call-up into the squad, and (it's) not something I take for granted."
The Wallabies take on the All Blacks in the 2020 Bledisloe Cup, beginning on Sunday, October 11 at 2PM (AEDT) in Wellington, NZ.