Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Powell Determined to Show Staying Power ; Rejuvenated Welshman Desperate to Extend His Spell with Sharks

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Powell Determined to Show Staying Power ; Rejuvenated Welshman Desperate to Extend His Spell with Sharks

Article excerpt

ANDY Powell hopes his barnstorming display in Sale's LV= Cup semi- final win over Saracens on Sunday could yet earn him the offer of a new deal to stay on with the Sharks.

The former Wales and British Lions No.8 is one of 16 players out of contract with the Premiership strugglers this summer.

And prior to Sunday's man-ofthe-match display in Sale's 21-15 win after an indifferent season interrupted by injury, he had not been made a new offer.

But having reminded both the success-starved Sale fans, as well as a watching audience on live TV, of the warrior-like qualities which brought him 23 caps for Wales as well as a place on the Lions' 2009 tour to South Africa, Powell is also hoping it might help prompt Sale boss Steve Diamond into extending his two-year spell in Manchester.

"I'm out of contract at the end of this year and I've had no offers anywhere yet so I had to play well on Sunday," Powell revealed.

"In terms of the future, I would love to stay here at Sale as I'm happy here, but it's been a tough season so Sunday was a big opportunity to hopefully show what I'm about.

"It's been stop-start for me this season. I've had a few little niggles along the way and, in fairness to Richie Vernon, he's played really well and kept me out of the side and I take my hat off to him as he's a good player.

"But I was given a chance starting at No.8 on Sunday and it went well, but a lot of the praise needs to go to the boys up front as the front five were superb and without that platform I wouldn't have been able to pick off the scrum and go forward.

"After last week when we had a bit of a battering down at Leicester, we had a hard week's training and everyone realised we could get to a final if we beat Saracens.

"We're a good side but at times I think we have been our own worst enemies and on Sunday we played rugby in the right areas and it was a great team effort.

"We knew Saracens would come up with a good team but, equally, we knew we were good enough to beat them on the day."

Sale's reward for reaching their first final since their Premiership triumph of 2006 is a showdown with champions Harlequins at Worcester's Sixways ground this Sunday.

Though the LV= Cup - commonly known as the Anglo-Welsh Cup - suffers in comparison with the Heineken Cup, Powell knows from first- hand experience the value the tournament can bring to a club. …

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