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Joe Powell to join ex-Wallabies teammate in France's Pro D2

By Josh Raisey
Leicester's Joe Powell (Photo by Malcolm Couzens/Getty Images)

Former Australia scrum-half Joe Powell has signed a three-year deal with French outfit US Montauban ahead of next season.

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The 30-year-old left Leicester Tigers with immediate effect in January, having only moved to Welford Road at the beginning of the season following the demise of his previous club London Irish.

The former ACT Brumbies and Melbourne Rebels No9 will join his former Australia teammate Ned Hanigan in France’s second division next season, with the forward agreeing to join Provence from the New South Wales Waratahs in May.

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Kurley Beale eager to help Wallabies back to the top

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Kurley Beale eager to help Wallabies back to the top

Powell played with Hanigan in gold in 2017, when he won his four caps for the Wallabies.

Provence finished at the summit of the ProD2 table last season, but failed to secure promotion in the play-offs. Montauban, meanwhile, finished second-from-bottom in the league and were forced to face second-place Nationale finishers Narbonne in a relegation play-off- a match they won 20-19 to remain in ProD2 next season.

Following Powell’s exit from Welford Road earlier this year, Leicester general manager Richard Wilks said: “It’s always tough to see good people leave and both these lads are exceptional people and they’ll be missed around the club.

“Joe Powell has obviously only been with us for a short time, and it’s never easy to come into an environment for a short period but Powelly worked his socks off every day and the lads loved having him around.”

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finn 5 hours ago
Ireland and South Africa share the same player development dilemma

What a difference 9 months makes! Last autumn everyone was talking about how important versatile bench players were to SA’s WC win, now we’re back to only wanting specialists? The timing of this turn is pretty odd when you consider that some of the best players on the pitch in the SA/Ireland match were Osbourne (a centre playing out of position at 15), Feinberg-Mngomezulu (a fly-half/centre playing out of position at 15), and Frawley (a utility back). Having specialists across the backline is great, but its not always necessary. Personally I think Frawley is unlikely to displace Crowley as first choice 10, but his ability to play 12 and 15 means he’s pretty much guaranteed to hold down a spot on the bench, and should get a decent amount of minutes either at the end of games or starting when there are injuries. I think Willemse is in a similar boat. Feinberg-Mngomezulu possibly could become a regular starter at 10 for the Springboks, but he might not, given he’d have to displace Libbok and Pollard. I think its best not to put all your eggs in one basket - Osbourne played so well at the weekend that he will hopefully be trusted with the 15 shirt for the autumn at least, but if things hadn’t gone well for him he could have bided his time until an opportunity opened up at centre. Similarly Feinberg-Mngomezulu is likely to get a few opportunities at 15 in the coming months due to le Roux’s age and Willemse’s injury, but given SA don’t have a single centre aged under 30 its likely that opportunities could also open up at 12 if he keeps playing there for Stormers. None of this will discount him from being given gametime at 10 - in the last RWC cycle Rassie gave a start at 10 to Frans Steyn, and even gave de Klerk minutes there off the bench - but it will give him far more opportunities for first team rugby.

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