The Melbourne Rebels have confirmed the signing of Wallabies scrum-half Joe Powell from the Brumbies, as the club’s first new signing for the upcoming 2021 Season.
Powell joins the Rebels from the Brumbies, where he’s spent the entirety of his professional playing career, recording over 60 Super Rugby matches since making his senior debut in 2015.
The Brumbies’ vice-captain produced a stellar campaign this year, playing a crucial role in his side reaching their first grand final since 2004, receiving the honours of being named in the Super Rugby AU Team of the Season.
Following his impressive form, Powell was recently included in the new look 44-man Wallabies squad for the upcoming Test season, joining nine other Melbourne Rebels in the touring party.
A junior prodigy, Powell is no stranger to representative honours, having been an important member of the Australian Under-20’s squad at the 2014 IRB Junior World Championships in New Zealand, joining current Rebels Cameron Orr, Ross Haylett-Petty and Matt Philip in the side.
In 2016, Powell burst onto the senior international scene after just seven games of Super Rugby experience, being selected in the 39-man Australian squad to take on England, before making his Wallabies debut in 2017 against Fiji, fittingly in Melbourne.
The Marist College product has since gone on to win four Test Caps for Australia and remains in strong contention for a starting birth in the opening Bledisloe Test beginning in Wellington next Sunday.
Powell’s signing will be a welcome addition to the Melbourne Rebels’ roster, following the return of starting scrum-half Ryan Louwrens to the Rebels' Japanese partners, the Kintetsu Liners.
The twenty-six-year-old Powell says he’s excited to begin a new chapter in his playing career and is looking forward to becoming an integral member for his new side in Melbourne’s quest for Super Rugby AU glory in season 2021.
“I’m super excited for the opportunity to join a new club and move to a whole new city,” said Powell.
“I’ll never forget debuting for the Wallabies at AAMI Park - I’ve got plenty of fond memories there and also some not so good memories against the Rebels where we got touched up a few times, so it’ll be nice to be with the home team now.
“I think the Rebels had a really good season this year, so I’m excited to do my bit and help them improve even more next season.
“I’ve known a few of the fellas like Hodgey (Reece Hodge), Pup (Matt To’omua) and Dane (Haylett-Petty) from my time throughout Wallabies squads, so from what I’ve heard it’s a really good group down there.
“I’m really excited to be part of that group now going forward.”
Melbourne Rebels Head Coach Dave Wessels is looking forward to working with Powell.
“We’ve obviously played against Joe many times over the years and know just what a competitor he is. Aside from the skill and intensity he brings on the field, it’s obvious that he’s a good team man. He’s a great fit for Melbourne.”
Powell, Brumby #178, racked up 73 appearances for the Brumbies after making his debut in 2015 and became a popular figure with fans and teammates during his time at the club. Powell steered the Brumbies from number nine to their third Super Rugby title against the Queensland Reds before joining up with the Wallabies following his selection in Dave Rennie's squad.
Speaking about his time at the Brumbies, Powell said: "It's been a dream come true to represent the Brumbies."
"To play one time for the club was incredible, but to play 73 times and go out winning a trophy is a special feeling and I've enjoyed every minute of my time with the club.
"The Brumbies gave me an opportunity to play professional rugby in my hometown and for that I'll always be grateful.
"Playing for the Canberra community was an honour and I want to thank the Brumbies family for all their support during the years.
"I'm happy to be continuing my career in Australia and I'm looking forward to a new challenge in Melbourne."
Brumbies coach Dan McKellar said: “It’s tough to see Joey going, he’s a leader in the team and someone who loves the club.”
"I've coached Joe for a long time, here at the Brumbies and with the Tuggeranong Vikings and it's been a pleasure to see his growth over the years.
“I’ve no doubt Joe will be a success wherever he goes, and I wish him all the best for the future.”