Powell pushing for starting spot

Sam Powell
Sam Powell

SAM Powell says he is enjoying being the only half-back in Wigan’s ranks at the moment – and the extra pressure that comes with it.

Half-back pair George Williams and Matty Smith are not due back to training until after the new year due to being on international duty at the end of last season.

I’m 24 next year so I want to be playing most if not every game

Sam Powell

And their absence has left Powell to take over their roles in training – a task he has relished.

“It does put a bit more pressure to speak a bit,” he said.

“Those two are enjoying their holidays and I want to improve on what I did last season and step-up.”

Powell will be hoping he can use the extra training to get an edge on his team mates as he looks to improve on his 2015 season.

The 23-year-old can play either at half-back or hooker, and made 23 appearances last term including five starts but is targeting more time on the pitch in 2016.

“I was happy with how many I played, I’m 24 next year so I want to be playing most if not every game,” he said.

“I got that bench spot and want to improve on that.”

And despite the added workload placed on Powell having to cover two positions, the St Pat’s product is happy to shoulder the responsibility thanks to the opportunities his versatility gives him - and he is willing to cover both bases in future.

“It is challenging, but it mixes it up, working on something different trying to get better in two positions,” he explained.

“It kept me in the team at stages last season so happy to do that.”

“I want to push for a starting spot, wherever if I’m in that 13 I’ll be happy.”

The start of the season is seven weeks away and Powell is already looking forward to getting stuck into action despite having most of the pre-season ahead of him.

Explaining what the players have concentrated on so far, he said: “We’ve done too much full on rugby – we’ve a lot to come, just been hammering our skill really – but with being the only half I’ve had to take the reins a bit. It’s something I enjoy.

“I just can’t wait to play now. When you’ve got the Haigh Hall runs it seems a long way off but we’re playing friendlies in January, it’s not too far, and the weeks do go pretty fast. ”