A dream debut for Powell

Wigan's Sam Powell in action against Hull FC in the Stobart Super League game at the DW Stadium
Wigan's Sam Powell in action against Hull FC in the Stobart Super League game at the DW Stadium

SAM Powell admits he couldn’t have scripted his Wigan debut any better.

The academy-product thought his chance of first-team action had escaped him earlier this season when he broke his leg in an Under-20s match.

And after returning to action last month he suffered a suspected broken jaw – which he thought would end his season.

But scans revealed no major damage and after working hard in training, he was thrust into the Super League spotlight last Friday night when Australian No.6 Brett Finch suffered a hamstring injury.

The 20-year-old said: “It was great.

“To make my debut at home and in such a big game – I couldn’t have asked for much more, really.

“To be honest, I thought I might have to wait until next year for my chance after the (leg) injury I had and with Matty (Smith) coming in.

“I’ve only had four games for the U20s and when I hurt my jaw against London, I heard a crack and I thought, ‘That’s me for the year’.

“But the doc said I was okay and earlier this week, Shaun Wane told me I would get my chance. I was made up.”

Powell – watched by his family – started the game alongside recent-signing Smith and impressed throughout, crowning his authoritative display with a late try in the 48-10 home victory over Hull FC in front of nearly 18,000 fans.

“I was a bit nervous during the week, but then that turned to excitement,” said the former Hindley and Wigan St Pat’s amateur.

“The other lads were great with me and settled my nerves.

“They basically said, ‘You’re in here for what you’ve done for the Under-20s and so play your own game and do it well’, and that’s what I tried to do.

“I was blowing a bit towards the end of the first-half because the pace was quicker than what I’d been used to.

“I’m a Wigan lad and it was unreal.

“My mum and dad were watching – it was good to help pay them back for all the time and effort they’ve given me during my amateur days, driving me all over the place!”

Super League pace-setters Wigan now hold a five point lead on Warrington, who face St Helens tonight.

If the Wolves lose, then the Warriors could secure the league leaders’ shield if they win at the Halliwell Jones on Saturday.

WIGAN’S Under-20s followed their first-team counterparts by destroying Hull FC on Saturday.

Kiwi Anthony Gelling scored two of their eight tries in a 46-6 win.

John O’Donnell (2), Jack Murphy (2), James Greenwood and Tom Spencer also crossed.