Sam Powell is reaping rewards after starting his Wigan career for nothing

SAM Powell is rushing towards the rewards of a Wigan career he literally started for nothing.

Because when the hooker started, if she didn’t play, she didn’t get paid.

Sam Powell has revealed he wouldn't get paid if he didn't play for Wigan early in his career


Sam Powell has revealed he wouldn’t get paid if he didn’t play for Wigan early in his careerPhoto credit: SWPIX.COM

Today the stalwart celebrates 11 years in the Warriors’ first team with a testimonial match against Salford.

But when he was first signed, he didn’t have a contract – it just said ‘you play, we pay’.

He shouldn’t have had it any other way, however, as the desire for a regular job has given him that spark.

Powell, who came through as a half-back, said: “I got a pay-as-you-play deal first and then got an academy contract after four games.

“I just wanted to prove myself. When I was 16 years old that was all I wanted to do and I was training to be an electronics technician at the time.

“Gas technicians have hand tools when they test boilers, we service and calibrate those tools.


“I didn’t particularly enjoy working every day and playing rugby and coaching was what I wanted to do, although we started around 5:45am.

“I rode my scooter – a 50cc moped – to Orrell, rode there for an hour and a half, then went to work, finished around 4:30pm and then went back to practice.

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“They were very long days, but when I think back, they were good days.”

Powell admits it took him about a year to adjust to full-time training even after being accepted into the regular squad, but after making his debut against Hull FC in August 2012 he has won two Super League titles and a Challenge Cup.

Powell was one of Wigan's unsung heroes


Powell was one of Wigan’s unsung heroesPhoto credit: SWPIX.COM

And the 30-year-old player you see today is very different from the fledgling youngster who popped up first – he’s had to develop, just like his club.

Powell, who admits that designing his own jersey was one of the better jobs he’s done, added: “Looking back, it was difficult in the middle for the first couple of years. I wasn’t built the way I am now and I was playing against experienced professionals. I had to get it quick.

“And the club has continued to develop. We are always looking for new ideas and advances. When I started we trained at Orrell. Now we are in Robin Park and the place is world class.

“But that’s the way it has to be. To get better, you have to keep evolving.” Sam Powell is reaping rewards after starting his Wigan career for nothing


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