Brumbies halfback Joe Powell is looking forward to going head-to-head with Wallabies rivals Jake Gordon and Nick Phipps when the Waratahs arrive in Canberra tonight.
Powell was replaced by Gordon in the Wallabies squad for the Spring Tour last year, after playing in the June series against Ireland and having done several years in the Australian squad.
The snowy-haired no.9 has been in good touch this year, and was name checked by Wallabies coach Michael Cheika two weeks ago when discussing form players. Powell was included in the recent Wallabies camps, too.
But Gordon has also been steering the Waratahs around well, and with Phipps also returning from injury on the NSW bench, the Brumbies’ clash with their old rivals on Friday night promises to be a battle within a battle at the scrum base.
In an interview with RUGBY.com.au, Powell said he wasn’t focussing on Wallabies’ selection but there was no hiding from the fact one-on-one duels in derbies do carry significance in selection discussion.
"There are Wallaby match-ups across the park in a heap of positions,” Powell said.
“It’s a big game to see where you compare to other players. Everyone will be for it to see where they come with them.
"It’s definitely in the back of most people’s heads in that it’s a World Cup year and it is a huge year, but it is definitely it’s not in the forefront of my head, there’s plenty to get through before then. It is a really long year.
"So I will try and play good rugby for the Brumbies and see where that takes me.”
Powell also talks about the Brumbies’ season so far and the keys for him to knock down the Wallabies’ selectors’ door.
"Early on in my career I just loved the idea of playing footy and didn’t think too much about what goes into it. To be consistent and to keep getting better that’s something I have to keep looking at further,” he said.
Watch the full video above.