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Page last updated at 13:28 GMT, Thursday, 1 July 2010 14:28 UK

Powell still Super League target after Crusaders blank

By George Riley
BBC 5 live rugby league commentator

Andy Powell
Cardiff Blues back-row Andy Powell has won 14 caps for Wales

Wales rugby union back-row Andy Powell could still end up a Super League player next season despite the collapse of his cross-code move to Crusaders.

The 28-year-old was expected to join former Cardiff Blues team-mate Gareth Thomas at the Wrexham-based club.

But Powell's agent, Emanuel Palladino, confirmed: "Andy Powell will not be joining the Crusaders next season."

However, it is understood that other Super League clubs are still interested along with French union side Agen.

Crusaders had hoped to make Powell their big-name recruit for next season but have as yet announced no new signings for 2011.

It is a situation which is unlikely to alleviate fears over the expansion club's financial wellbeing, having been sold to Wrexham-based businessman Geoff Moss last December and subsequently relocated to north Wales from Bridgend.

Powell's future is likely to be resolved within the next fortnight, with at least one other Super League side having opened talks.


Thomas made a headline move to join the Crusaders last March and Powell remains good friends with the former British and Irish Lions captain, and has been up to the Racecourse Ground to watch him play.

"Andy is a close friend of Gareth Thomas as everyone knows, and also a big fan of rugby league, however there has never been any official offer made for Andy from the Crusaders despite the rumours circulating in the media," Palladino added.

"This is not to say that one day Andy will not fulfil his ambition of playing rugby league."

Powell, a tourist with the Lions to South Africa last year, was dropped by Wales after being charged with drink-driving in charge of a golf buggy.

However, the 14-cap player was recalled by Wales coach Warren Gatland for June's one-off Test against world champions South Africa in Cardiff and the subsequent two-Test New Zealand tour, only to be sidelined after suffering a thigh muscle injury in training.

Powell has a year remaining on his regional contract, although the Blues are currently well served in the back-row after New Zealander Xavier Rush opted not to move to Magners League rivals Ulster.

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see also
Rugby league move likely - Powell
21 May 10 |  Welsh
Homophobia tide turning - Thomas
30 Jun 10 |  Crusaders
Thomas makes switch to Crusaders
05 Mar 10 |  Crusaders
Welsh convert XIII
10 May 10 |  Rugby League
Powell in drink drive group talks
20 May 10 |  Mid Wales
Powell 'deserves second chance'
17 May 10 |  Welsh
Powell back for Wales' June Tests
16 May 10 |  Welsh
Powell admits 'golf buggy' charge
02 Mar 10 |  Wales
Powell regret over 'stupid prank'
24 Feb 10 |  Welsh
Powell removed from Wales squad
15 Feb 10 |  Welsh
Wales' rugby fixtures
26 Jun 07 |  Welsh
Wales rugby results archive
15 Oct 03 |  Welsh
BBC Sport Wales coverage
03 Oct 11 |  Wales

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