Powell 'itchy' to return to Test arena

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Wallabies halfback Joe Powell is ‘itchy’ to return to the Test arena and a decider against Ireland will have extra significance for the nine.

Powell has his Irish citizenship, courtesy of having Irish grandparents, making a possible fourth Test appearance even more special.

The 24-year-old has been around the Wallabies squad for two years, playing two Tests in last year’s June Series and was included in Australia’s game against Japan last November.

With Will Genia ruled out with a broken arm, Powell is likely to step onto the bench, as deputy for Nick Phipps, for his first Test since November.

Will Genia broke his arm in Melbourne. Photo: RUGBY.com.au/Stuart WalmsleyHis Irish heritage makes an already major occasion even more significant.

“For me to play against the Irish is special because my grandparents were Irish so I've got my Irish citizenship as well,” he said.

“We have relatives over there, I've met them, got a couple of cousins in Ireland.

“If I do get the opportunity to play, it will be the biggest game I've played in, a big decider, so it's exciting.”

The Brumbies halfback said he wasn’t changing too much about his approach to the week, but the extra likelihood of a matchday 23 spot made it an important week.

“Same as the other weeks, just preparing as usual and making sure I know my role,” he said.

“It's probably a different week this week, seeing as though there's a bit of opportunity there to hopefully sneak a bench spot, it's exciting.”

Powell has had the benefit of learning off Genia in camp, and watching his opposite number Conor Murray go around in June, with great admiration for both of the Test nines.

“Will's been really good for me and my game, he's someone that's obviously very knowledgeable and just probably the way he communicates to the group is something that probably I've picked up the most from him,” he said.

“I love watching Conor Murray play - he's obviously a great halfback and his service and his control of the game is something I could probably learn from as well.”

The Wallabies take on Ireland in Sydney in the third June Test, kicking off at 8:05pm AEST, LIVE on FOX SPORTS, Channel Ten and via RUGBY.com.au RADIO.