Sale Sharks number eight Andy Powell is joining Super League side Wigan Warriors at the end of the Aviva Premiership season, according to director of rugby Steve Diamond.
The Welsh international has been a vital component in Sale’s recent upturn in fortunes, as the Sharks moved off the bottom of the league table.
However, despite speculation the 31-year-old would sign a new deal at the Salford City Stadium, Diamond confirmed Powell’s would be switching codes to join Super League-leaders Wigan.
“Andy won’t be with us next year,” Diamond told BBC Radio Manchester.
“He’s signed for Wigan for three years, although I don’t know the in-depth details of the contract.”
The first-half of Powell’s season at Barton Bridge was blighted by injuries but he produced a man-of-the-match display against Saracens in the LV Cup semi-final.
The former British and Irish Lion made 12 starts for the Sharks, and Diamond paid tribute to the Brecon-born forward’s contribution to the Sale cause.
“Andy’s a good player and has been a good stalwart of Sale for the last couple of years.
“It was time for both parties to move away and, fortunately for Andy, he’s got a contract now in rugby league that will see him through the remainder of his career.”
Powell is reportedly set to play as a prop in the Super League, but the Warriors are yet to confirm the details of his move.
If completed, the move could see Powell included in the Wales squad for this summer’s Rugby League World Cup.
Image courtesy of salesharksrugbyclub, via Youtube, with thanks.