MATT Powell has revealed his intention to retire at the end of his existing Worcester contract which runs out in the summer of 2010.
The Warriors scrum half, who is expected to make his 99th career start for Mike Ruddock’s men when they travel to Sale on Friday night, will be 32 and – he says – ready to turn his attention to life after rugby.
The former Saracen and Harlequin has become a Sixways stalwart since arriving in 2003 and as well as being a vital part of the side that won promotion from National One, has been a fixture in the club’s four Premiership campaigns.
Despite the presence of three other scrum halves in Ruddock’s squad Powell remains first choice No?9 and continues to show the sort of resolve that has helped him see off challenges from highly rated rivals Clive Stuart-Smith and Andy Gomarsall.
But through a series of work placements Powell has already turned his attention to the next stage of his career.
“I have another year on my contract here. I will be 32 then, sure enough I could carry on playing for a year or two after that because I am in good shape and I have been lucky with my injuries but I think I would want to stop then,” Powell said.
“A lot of guys drop down leagues and delay the inevitable of getting a real job in the real world. I think by then I will be quite well prepared so that the transition is easy for me.
“It’s at the back of everyone’s mind. As soon as you get an injury like the one Marcel [Garvey] has got, which could be serious or may not be, you start thinking about what if your career is about to end. By then I will have been playing for 14 years and probably I will be ready to do something different.”
That said Powell is still determined to go out on a high. During their stay in the top flight Warriors have struggled to move away from the bottom and have been involved in two nail-biting relegation battles.
But the Welshman is hoping his final months at the club can confirm an upturn in fortunes: “There are still a lot of things I want to achieve at the game, particularly at Worcester,” he said.
“I have come from the First Division with them, we have been at the wrong end of the league since but I want to be part of a Worcester team that pushes on into the top half of the league. If I could do that it would be a really big achievement.”