Brumbies sign rookie scrum-half

Date published: March 11 2016

The Brumbies have signed rookie scrum-half Joe Powell on a two-year contract as they back the youngster to be a future star.

The 21-year-old is on a one-year extended player squad deal which gives players a chance to prove themselves in Super Rugy. He has only 14 minutes of Super Rugby experience to his name. 

Powell made his Super Rugby debut last year as injury cover for Nic White, and hasn't made an appearance for the Canberra-based franchise this season.

"And three weeks later it's all done," Powell told The Canberra Times.

"I never wanted to go anywhere else, this is the best rugby program in Australia and the best place to improve.

"I was definitely shocked at how early it all came around. I was talking to some other guys and they were saying they only sorted out their contracts towards the end of the season.

"It gives me confidence knowing they've got confidence in me to keep improving. I have to step up to that now, I can't rest on what I've done so far. I've got to repay the favour."

Powell, who will have to battle it out with Argentina international Tomas Cubelli and Michael Dowsett for the number nine jersey this year, will continue to train in Canberra when the squad flies to South Africa for a two-game tour against the Stormers and Cheetahs. 

Head coach Stephen Larkham is keen to invest in young, local talent, with Powell, Tom Staniforth, Robbie Coleman and Les Leuluailii-Makin all Canberra juniors who are part of the Brumbies squad.

The Canberra Vikings scrum-half has also been working with Wallaby legend George Gregan and Larkham to improve his pass.

"After two pre-seasons I feel comfortable going into any game on the bench or starting," said Powell.

"Bernie has said my chance will come this year, so I just have to be patient. It's good having one-on-one passing sessions with Greegs.

"I think I've gotten over the initial shock of working with the guys. I just want to improve as much as possible, Bernie wants me to improve my pass with more consistency so he's got Greegs coming down to help me.

"I'll put the tools down for at least another couple of years now."