Wigan Warriors: Making sense of Sam Powell’s links with a Super League switch

Wigan Warriors hooker Sam Powell has been linked with a move to Warrington Wolves for the 2024 Super League campaign.
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Examiner Live reports that 31-year-old Powell is on the verge of joining Sam Burgess’ squad ahead of next season, bringing an end to a 15-year spell with the Warriors.

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Having progressed through the club’s academy ranks, Powell made his debut in 2012 against Hull FC initially as a half-back, with his career seeing him progress into a nine at the DW Stadium.

Wigan Warriors vs Hull Kingston Rovers at DW Stadium, Wigan, UKWigan Warriors vs Hull Kingston Rovers at DW Stadium, Wigan, UK
Wigan Warriors vs Hull Kingston Rovers at DW Stadium, Wigan, UK
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To date, he has made close to 300 appearances for the club and has won three Super League Grand Finals alongside three League Leaders’ Shields and the 2017 World Club Challenge.

His future at Wigan came under question following the signing of ex-Leeds captain Kruise Leeming, who will return from a short stint in the NRL to join Matt Peet’s squad on a four-year deal.

Rising star Brad O’Neill became Peet’s number one choice at hooker in 2023, enjoying a breakthrough year with 27 appearances, with Powell’s game time set to be limited if he was to remain with his boyhood club.

Love Rugby League initially reported that the England Knights representative was weighing up his future earlier in August, although Wigan hadn’t actively offered his services out to rival clubs.

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And while Powell also told Wigan Today that his preferred choice would be to remain with the Warriors and see out his contract until the end of 2024, the opportunity of game time under England and NRL legend Burgess could see him make the short move to the Halliwell Jones Stadium.

Powell stated that he “wants to carry on playing” and Warrington could provide that chance.

The Wolves have lost long-serving key player Daryl Clark to St Helens to replace now-retired icon James Roby, with Danny Walker contracted and Brad Dwyer brought in from Hull for his second spell with the club.

However, Dwyer was likely signed under former head coach Daryl Powell, who was sacked at the end of July following a terrible run of results.

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The quotes from new boss Burgess for Dwyer’s announcement were completely uninspiring, and the rookie coach could be seeking to replace Clark with a player choice of his own in Wigan’s Powell, a winner and leader.

Ultimately, Powell’s biggest motivator could be game time, with minutes likely to be limited due to competition in the Wigan camp, as well as the chance to work under an NRL champion in Burgess.