Powell at home with new Rebels rugby side

Thu, 04/03/2021, 04:25 am
Melissa Woods - AAP
by Melissa Woods - AAP
Melbourne's Joe Powell can expect plenty of attention when he comes up against the Brumbies | Getty Images
Melbourne's Joe Powell can expect plenty of attention when he comes up against the Brumbies | Getty Images

Looking to break away from the Brumbies, Joe Powell has found himself in very familiar surrounds so far this Super Rugby AU season.

The Melbourne recruit will run out at GIO Stadium on Saturday night in his first clash against the Brumbies, his team for the past six years and 73 games, and the venue where he helped them claim last year's title.

With the Rebels relocating to Canberra early last month to avoid COVID-19 related border restrictions, there's a sense of deja vu for Powell.

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He said he'd had a few texts from his former teammates and expected more attention at the bottom of the ruck come game time.

The 26-year-old moved to Melbourne with a vacancy opening up with Ryan Louwrens' return to Japan, while the Brumbies had starting Wallabies halfback Nic White and Ryan Lonergan on their books.

In their 23-21 loss to the Reds, Powell had his first run in the halves with Matt Toomua although their time overlapped at the Brumbies in 2015-16.

"I've known Matt since 2015 so it's been a while for us," Powell told AAP.

"There's still plenty of room for improvement - me and Pup (Toomua) haven't played a huge amount of footy together so I think that's something that will come along with each game.

"It was a positive start for us and we were probably unlucky not to close out the game last week."

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Powell said he'd had to adapt to the Rebels' free-wheeling game style which meant a new way of "thinking about the game".

"It's nice being exposed to new ways of playing the game as there's a little bit more freedom in the way the Rebels play which is hopefully something that will suit my game.

"He'd been tapped for intelligence on his former team, who put 61 points on the Waratahs last round, but said the Brumbies' strengths were pretty obvious.

"They bring really good set piece play and I think their scrum is very good and so is their line-out and maul so if we can match them in those areas that will go a long way to putting them under pressure," the four-Test Wallaby said.

"I've given them little bits and pieces but I think in the last few years the Rebels have played quite well against the Brumbies so their game plan is looking pretty solid."

The Melbourne Rebels take on the Brumbies on Saturday 6 March at GIO Stadium kicking off at 7:45pm AEDT, LIVE on Stan Sport and 9Gem. Click here to purchase tickets.

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