COLUMN: Farewell to Warriors stalwart
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An underrated player across the Super League competition, Powell became a leader and a hugely influential member at the DW Stadium in a Wigan career that saw him win three Grand Finals, three League Leaders’ Shields and the 2017 World Club Challenge over Cronulla Sharks.
He started at hooker in the 2016 and 2018 Old Trafford triumphs - both over Warrington - and featured from the interchange bench earlier this year in Manchester, making an impact against the Dragons with precise and swift delivery from the hooker role.
Having established himself as a regular in 2014, he failed only once to reach 20 or more appearances in a season - including an impressive ever-present campaign in 2016 with 36, finishing the year as the second-highest tackle maker behind fellow hooker and long-serving Hull man Danny Houghton.
Powell has been one of the most consistent, prominent performers for Wigan Warriors – and in his position across the competition. A hard-working defender, who shifted from the halves to the number nine role across his career, he leaves with everyone’s respect.
With Kruise Leeming arriving following a short-stint in the NRL, and Powell playing the same style as rising star Brad O’Neill, the move makes sense for Matt Peet’s squad, with youngster Tom Forber also contracted.
And there are no doubts that he will prove to be a hit for Warrington Wolves under England legend Sam Burgess in his first season as a head coach, with competition from Danny Walker and Brad Dwyer in the squad.
Powell was met with floods of comments from fans as well as team-mates past and present on social media following his confirmed departure, showing just how important he has been for the club.
The word ‘legend’ gets chucked about quite a bit, but he’s certainly close to that during his time in cherry and white. Liam Marshall agrees, having posted that single word under his Instagram post following his exit.
It wouldn’t be a surprise to see the 31-year-old return to the club in some sort of coaching capacity following his spell with the Wire, having openly admitted he’s eyeing up a career in coaching following his playing days and was already helping with Wigan’s academy sides.
Meanwhile, another touch of class from the club earlier this week with a new training partnership with GIB - initials of Wigan Warriors fan Glyn Briscoe, brother of former player Shaun Briscoe.
Glyn Briscoe sadly passed away at the age of 38 after struggling with various complex conditions in his life. And his siblings, brothers Shaun and Dean and sisters Lindsay and Kirsty, have kept a promise to Glyn by getting his GIB logo on a Wigan kit - a logo made up from his passions: rugby league, being British, lego and his family.
A lovely tribute with chief executive Kris Radlinski stating: “His passion for both life and rugby league served as an inspiration to all.”