A huge character in Welsh rugby hangs up his boots for the last time today, as uncompromising back-rower Andy Powell retires having failed to recover from a knee injury.
What a legend of the game in Wales.
Having had stints with Dragons and Scarlets, he went on to spend a career-defining spell with Cardiff Blues, which saw his rich form in 2008/09 rewarded with his first of 23 Wales caps, plus a call up for the British and Irish Lions tour of South Africa.
He most recently played for Merthyr, helping them win promotion to the Principality Premiership last season, ahead of the league becoming ring-fenced for three years.
An abrasive character on the field, but an amiable one off it, Powell will be best remembered for “borrowing” and driving a golf buggy down the M4 motorway after celebrating a Wales victory over Scotland in Cardiff in 2010. He faced a 15 month driving ban for the incident, which effectively brought an end to his Wales career.
Lots of his former team-mates, rivals, and even referee Nigel Owens have described Powell as “one of a kind”. I’ve been a huge fan of his over the years, and his humour will definitely be missed in Welsh rugby. Maybe he should become a pundit for Wales autumn series. All the best for your retirement, Andy!