Powell will play a big part

Guinness PRO12 Editor

6 Apr 2010


Cardiff Blues coach Dai Young says back row giant Andy Powell will have a big role to play throughout the remainder of the season.

Powell has been linked with a move away from the Welsh capital but Young has played down speculation linking him with other clubs.

The Brecon-born star was one of the stand-out performers for the Blues in 2008/09, with his club form leading to a deserved Wales call-up and a squad role in last summer’s Lions series in South Africa.

However, since his return from touring with Britain and Ireland’s elite, things have not gone quite so smoothly for Powell.

A breach of national team discipline after the Six Nations tie with Scotland saw him dropped from the Welsh squad, while his form has also been questioned at both domestic and international level.

The 28-year-old was not included in the Blues squad that took on Ulster in Belfast last weekend but Young was quick to explain that his omission was based on rest and rotation rather than rumour.

"People will talk about the reasons why Andy Powell was not playing," said Young, after his side triumphed 33-24 at Ravenhill.

"But that is just press speculation and those reasons given there have nothing to do with his absence against Ulster.

"Andy will play a big part in the run-in to the end of the season. 

"But we just felt against Ulster that he had played the last two games while Maama Molitika has been on the bench.

"So it is a matter of utilising your squad and making sure that every game we go into that we are not fielding a tired team."

Young’s selection was vindicated as the Blues recorded back-to-back victories against the men from Northern Ireland to strengthen their chances of qualifying for next season’s Heineken Cup as one of the top-three Welsh teams.