Andy Powell may be missing out on playing for Wales in this weekend’s clash with Australia but he is confident the Welsh team are under the right leadership to have a very bright future.
Powell will be lining up for his English club, Sale Sharks this weekend rather than meeting up with his international team mates. He is confident the future is bright for his international colleagues though.
Powell is by no means assured of a place in the Welsh side for the Six Nations, with Warburton, Lydiate and Faletau all having made a huge positive impact at the World Cup. Head Coach Warren Gatland has also declared that any player currently based outside Wales will only be selected for his side if he can get a full release from his club. Powell will have to convince the Sharks to release him 13 days before Wales kick off their Six Nations campaign against Ireland on February 5th.
For Powell to be involved he will have to show Gatland that he still has what it takes to offer Wales something they cannot get from Warburton, Lydiate or Faletau. His only chance is to go on a run of good form with Sale.
Powell is confident though that with or without him in the side the future is bright for his nation on the Rugby field. Starting with Saturday’s game against Australia where he expects the Aussies to face the backlash of a frustrating end to Wales’ World Cup campaign which saw them lose narrowly to both France(in the semis) and Australia(in the Bronze medal Match).
He believes his side “did ourselves proud” during the World Cup but described the climax as “very frustrating”. Australia provides Wales with a chance to build upon their successes in New Zealand and it will no doubt be the start of a long process building towards the World Cup in four years time.
The next big chance though for Wales will be the Six Nations this spring. It looks set to be an intensely competitive tournament, with Wales on a high, France having reached the World Cup Final, Italy ever improving and the rest looking to bounce back from disappointing tournaments.
Wales are in the process of building for a bright future and it will be a challenge for Powell to be involved in it. Whether he is or not though, it is hard to argue with him in his belief that the things are looking good for this young Welsh side.