Wigan Warriors hooker Sam Powell has been granted a testimonial year by the RFL for 2023.
Powell will lead out his hometown club in a pre-season friendly against Salford Red Devils at the DW Stadium on Sunday 5th February (3pm kick-off) to begin his testimonial year.
This will be the Warriors’ final pre-season fixture ahead of the 2023 campaign and the game will see the full first team squad involved.
Powell will also launch his own testimonial shirt soon, which will be worn for the game against Salford.
The 30-year-old hooker is a one-club man since arriving at the Wigan Academy from Wigan St Patricks ARLFC at the age of 16.
After making his try-scoring debut against Hull FC in 2012, Powell has cemented himself as a regular in the Wigan hooker position.
Winning five major honours so far, Powell made his 250th appearance for the club in Wigan’s final game of 2022.
His honours in a Wigan shirt include two Super League Grand Finals (2016 and 2018), a World Club Challenge (2017) and two League Leaders’ Shields (2012 and 2020).
Powell has also represented England, featuring for the Knights team and most recently the senior side – making his debut against Fiji in a World Cup warm-up match in September this year.
After signing a new two-year deal with Wigan in 2022, which will see him stay at the club at least until the end of 2024, Powell will celebrate his testimonial year in his 11th season as a professional.
Ahead of his testimonial, Powell has said it’s a privilege to play for Wigan as he underlined that it will be a special year:
“To be at Wigan for what will be 11 years and such a special club is a real privilege – and one I don’t take lightly,” Powell said to Sky Sports.
“It’s going to be a special year where I get to celebrate with my family and friends, but it has got to be a successful year on the field.”
He also revealed his ambition to go into coaching at the end of his career:
“I want to coach when I’m done playing. I’m doing that one night a week, maybe up it to two next year, and hopefully it will make that transition when I retire a bit smoother.
“If I look back now on my academy days, although it has gone really, really quick to where I am now, it was probably my most enjoyable days. There was pressure, but not like there is now – and you play with your mates as well so it’s really good.”