Already with a number of 'home grown' players in the squad, Harlequins RL has again looked local for its latest acquisition. The appointment of former South London Storm head coach, Rob Powell as Brian McDermott's new Assistant Coach, is yet another boost for rugby league's development programme in the South of England.
Powell replaces Damian McGrath who returned to Yorkshire for family reasons.
He joined Harlequins as the Foundation Academy Coach in 2006 and has now been promoted to the position as Head Coach of the Under 21's and Brian McDermott's assistant.
"He has made an immediate impact in just his first week on the job," said McDermott of Powell. Adding, "Everyone speaks very highly of him, he has a proven track record in London, and I know he will give this position everything it requires."
"We could have brought in someone with a little more experience at the top level but I chose to promote from within because I know we have the talent here in London. It is further evidence that the development pathways for both players and coaches are working."
Powell admits for him this is 'a dream come true', 'It's what I have always wanted ever since I first started out in coaching seven years ago. It's been my desire to work with a professional team in a professional environment and I am thrilled to be given this opportunity."
The team will depart tomorrow to meet Hull KR on Sunday for what will be its first 'friendly', with the full squad on the team coach. Neither Mark McLinden nor Zebastian Luisi will play, although all other squad members are fully fit.
McDermott said he's not out to win the game on Sunday, or to entertain, but rather to 'put things together', 'It's the final piece in the pre-season jigsaw for us not an opportunity to entertain or to win."
It's about bringing to fruition those things which we have worked hard on all pre-season."