The Australian Under 20s side has departed for New Zealand to compete in the IRB Junior World Championship. The ARU Media Team caught up with scrumhalf Joe Powell to talk Rugby, camp and his sporting family.
Hailing from Canberra, Joe Powell is one of four players from the nation’s capital in the Australian Under 20s side. For Joe, his family’s history of playing representative hockey didn’t stop him from pursuing his dream of playing Rugby at an elite level.
Joe started his Rugby career at Marist College in Canberra when he was just 10 years old. Despite having two cousins who played for the Hockeyroos and a father who played hockey at an elite level, his family was more than happy for him to chase a career in Rugby.
“I enjoyed watching rugby from a young age and Dad’s a massive Rugby fan so he was more than happy for me to play. I played hockey for one season when I was 13 but I soon realised that Rugby was the sport for me,” Joe said.
The extended Powell family is used to success on the international stage –Joe’s cousin Katrina Powell is a former Hockeyroos captain and led her team to victory in many tournaments, including the Melbourne Commonwealth Games in 2006 and the Champions Trophy in 2003, which was held in Sydney.
“It’s pretty cool that we’ve got a history of national representation in our family.”
“Everyone in our family is really happy with my selection for the Australian Under 20s and I can’t wait for the competition to start.
“The squad has really come together over the last few weeks and having four trial matches under our belt has really aided our preparation.”
“They think it’s an exciting opportunity and they’re really happy for me.” Joe proved himself to be a great asset to his club Rugby side, the Tuggeranong Vikings, helping them to victory in the John I Dent Cup in 2013 at the age of just 19. His strong performance in club Rugby led to his selection for the Australian under 20s this year.
“I never thought I’d make it to this level so it’s a huge honour.”
“Playing at an international level is a bit daunting but it’s also exciting,” he said.
Although Joe is excited about the opportunity, he recognises that the IRB Junior World Championship won’t be easy.
“It’ll be a challenge in terms of playing against some tough teams and having to back up consistently.”
The Under 20s will face off against Argentina on Monday 2 June, England on Friday 6 June and Italy on Tuesday 10 June.
All Australian matches will be broadcast live on FOX SPORTS.