Oct 30, 2017
Powell 'privileged' to cut his coaching teeth in Anglo-Welsh Cup
The Anglo-Welsh Cup has been the perfect vehicle for Saracens to develop talent in recent seasons, both on and off the field.
Director of Rugby Mark McCall will once again hand over the coaching reins to a younger up-and-coming set of coaches this season having previously entrusted the Cup squad with the likes of Alex Sanderson, Kevin Sorrell, Joe Shaw and Paul Gustard, Don Barrell and Ian Vass who have all gone on to coach with the RFU in recent seasons.
This year the Academy coaching trio of Mike Hynard (Academy Manager) and Academy coaches Adam Powell and Kelly Brown will take charge of an exciting crop of players in the Anglo-Welsh competition which Saracens won in 2015.
For one of the aforementioned coaching trio, it’s the perfect opportunity for him to reacquaint himself with the Saracens faithful after a four-year hiatus in the North East of England, with former centre Adam Powell leading the squad in the upcoming weeks.
Powell, a talented midfielder in his playing days who made 135 appearances for Saracens over eight seasons, returned to the club earlier this summer having been forced to retire from the game after successive knee-injuries whilst playing for the Newcastle Falcons. Powell, who came through the club’s academy system in 2005, is hoping that the Anglo-Welsh competition can unearth the next academy starlet, and help himself in his own coaching experience as he continues to adjust to his new non-playing role.
“Personally, it’s a fantastic opportunity and it’s a privilege to be asked to help lead any side at Saracens,” said the 30-year old Powell. “In the last couple of years Don (Barrell), Alex (Sanderson), Gussy (Paul Gustard) Joe Shaw and Kevin Sorrell have led the Anglo-Welsh Cup campaigns and I’ve seen how much it has aided their development, so I thought it was great opportunity when I was asked. We’re really excited by it as an Academy coaching group.
“We all know each other inside out, and that goes for the coaching staff as well. We’ve all played with each other at some point, or in Mike’s case, having coached us in the past. I’ll be helped this week by coaches such as Kelly Brown, Jimmy Tirrell, Paddy Hogben and Mike Hynard, they have been fantastic, and a good core of the players who will be playing this weekend will have been coached by us before in the Academy and in the Storm side.
“If you look at the lads coming into the side, a lot of these lads are ready for their next step – they’re ambitious guys we all think will blossom very quickly. They have some fantastic experience around them; they have World Cup players, some of them are European Cup and Premiership winners in amongst them to lean on. It’s a good group, and a group that has been really committed during the week. As a coaching team we’re excited heading into the weekend.”
Saracens kick-off their Anglo-Welsh Cup campaign against Harlequins on Sunday at Allianz Park, on the back of a frustrating A League defeat to the South-West Londoners on Sunday at Esher RFC. Powell believes that the competition will provide some of the club’s best and brightest with the perfect platform to showcase their burgeoning abilities.
He said: “This week we said a temporary farewell to some of senior squad, who have joined up with their national squads in preparation for the autumn internationals. A lot of these players cut their teeth early on in their careers in the Anglo-Welsh Cup, so it serves as a timely reminder to some of our younger players that they can use this competition as a springboard to bigger and better things.
“Games against Harlequins are always special occasions, and I’m sure Sunday’s will be no different. We know that whatever side we face will be dangerous and we have to perform at our very best if we are to come away with the win.”
Catch the next generation of Saracens stars this weekend, tickets for Sunday’s game against Harlequins are still available from www.saracens.com/tickets