Warrington Wolves’ milestone man Sam Powell prepares for ‘strange’ Wigan Warriors reunion

Ben Olawumi
Sam Powell

Warrington Wolves hooker Sam Powell will make his 300th career appearance against former club Wigan Warriors this weekend

Warrington Wolves hooker Sam Powell will reach the landmark of 300 career appearances on Saturday afternoon, and has spent the week preparing for a ‘strange’ reunion with hometown club Wigan Warriors.

273 of the 31-year-old’s 299 career appearances to date came in the colours of the Warriors, thrice crowned a Super League champion with them, including last term.

His service to Wigan spanned more than a decade, released by the club aged 13 before returning three years later, and going on to debut at first-team level in August 2012 against Hull FC, marking that occasion with a try.

With dual-registration appearances for both South Wales Scorpions & Workington Town included, as well as his three games for England Knights on the international front, his 300th will come this weekend just under 12 years on from that debut against Hull.

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Warrington Wolves’ milestone man Sam Powell prepares for ‘strange’ Wigan Warriors reunion

It will come in the colours of Warrington, who he has been an ever-present for since joining last autumn, yet to miss a game in any competition this season having also slotted in at loose forward for the Wolves on occasion.

Saturday’s clash sees the sides sat 2nd & 3rd in the Super League table square off at The Halliwell Jones Stadium, with both locked together on 18 competition points.

Speaking to the media in the build-up to his landmark game, Powell admitted it was an unusual feeling to be preparing to face the side he’s supported all his life.

The veteran said: “It’s going to be strange. Obviously I played there for a long time and I’ve got good relationships with a lot of people there, but it’s something I’m really looking forward to, just the challenge.

“Obviously we haven’t played them yet this year, so it will be great to see where we’re at, where we’re travelling to as a club and the improvements that we’ve made. They’re the benchmark with that.

“It’s going to be strange for me, but once the ball is kicked, it’s just another game of rugby.”

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Powell: ‘When we kick off, it’s business as usual for me’

Powell is an elder statesman in a rotated Warrington squad for Saturday’s game, with head coach Sam Burgess calling upon youth with players rested ahead of the Challenge Cup final on June 8. The opponents in that final under the Wembley arch are, of course, Wigan.

Heading into this weekend’s dress rehearsal – of sorts – Powell detailed his friendships with those in the opposition camp are very much still strong, but insists it’ll be ‘business as usual’ going up against them.

The 31-year-old continued: “I’ve been playing against friends for years. People I’ve come through with at Wigan, they’ve gone off to other teams, so it’s something I’m used to.

“I just spent a lot of time at one club, but when we kick off, it’s just kind of business as usual for me. I’ll be focusing on getting my game right and doing my job for the team.

“I catch up for coffees every few weeks with a few of the lads. My family have got good relationships with some of their families.

“My children know the kids of some of the players there, so we catch up every now and then. It’s good to see them going well.”

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