Powell hails Premier class
Wasps No.8 Andy Powell told skysports.com that he thinks the Aviva Premiership is a bigger challenge than the Magners League.
By Alex Williams
Last Updated: 13/04/11 3:00pm
Wasps No.8 Andy Powell believes that his move to the Aviva Premiership is giving him a bigger challenge than the Magners League.
The Wales forward joined the London-based club last summer after being released from his contract with Cardiff Blues.
He was given a one-year deal which he is keen to extend as Wasps look to rebuild after a largely disappointing current campaign that has included the departure of director of rugby Tony Hanks.
Powell is enjoying his time in England and says the Premiership provides a tougher physical test than his previous league.
"It's a bit more of a step up, it's a bit more physical," he told skysports.com of the differences between the two.
"The game is a lot quicker and I prefer to play that. I think the Magners League is a good standard of rugby but the Aviva is probably about a 5-10 per cent step up from it."
Powell started Wales' opening RBS Six Nations fixture against England before suffering an injury setback and the 29-year-old does not believe the move to Adams Park has harmed his international chances.
He added: "With the Heineken Cup group this year - it was really competitive. Those games are like playing international rugby."
Although his contract extension has not yet been confirmed, Powell says he is close to signing a new deal with Wasps.
"We're just sorting things out now so hopefully it'll be putting pen to paper pretty shortly. I'm looking forward to that," he said.
Wasps are currently on a miserable run of nine defeats in their last 10 matches in all competitions and were knocked out of the Challenge Cup by London rivals Harlequins last Saturday.
With only three league games now remaining, Powell still believes that his first season at the club can end on a high note.
"We just have to be positive now. It's not good losing to your local rivals, it was big derby match," the back-row said.
"But everyone's just pulling together now and having a bit of fun in training to try and get a few smiles on the boys' faces. Getting those three wins would be a good finish to the season."
Powell is set to be joined in the Wasps pack next season by former New Zealand lock Ross Filipo, while Welsh fly-half Nicky Robinson has also been recruited from Gloucester.
"There's a few more players - especially Nicky Robinson - coming into the squad now, and that will be good for us," Powell added of next season's prospects.
"We just need a good pre-season and (to) keep everybody fit because in the last eight weeks, a lot of boys have gone down, which hasn't helped."
Andy Powell and team-mates hosted an elite rugby training session at London Wasp's training ground. London Wasps RFC is one of a series of AVIVA Premiership Rugby clubs working with Gatorade to encourage players of all levels to stay ahead of the game and improve their performance. Gatorade is the official hydration partner of the AVIVA Premiership.