Assertive Kiwi product Felicity Powdrell is ready to take on Bond University at Suncorp Stadium this Sunday when she runs on for Easts in the Premier Women’s Grand Final.
Powdrell, 25, was born on a farm near Gisborne on the east coast of New Zealand’s north island. She joined a Rugby team in Hawkes Bay (NZ) at the age of 19, having never participated in a competitive sport.
She went on to represent her region in both XVs and Sevens Rugby. After instantly falling in love with the sport she jetted off to Oklahoma in the USA in 2018 for a 10-week Sevens program and obtained a contract in play Sevens in Japan in 2020.
In Japan she tore her ACL, MCL and meniscus, forcing her to return home during the first COVID-19 lockdown. Nine months and one surgery later, she returned to the field playing in the Farah Palmer Cup in NZ.
Powdrell accepted a job offer in Brisbane in April of this year, deciding to enter a new environment and play Rugby in a fresh setting.
She discovered the Easts Tigers through Morgan Te Oka, an Education and Wellbeing Coach and Easts player.
“I'm so glad I found such a cool team,” Powdrell said.
“It's the best team environment I have ever experienced, I feel supported and valued.”
After the Easts Women’s team won two straight premierships in 2020 and 2021, Powdrell will be doing all she can to help the side to a third-consecutive premiership in 2022.
She’ll use her own experiences in rehabilitating her knee injury to motivate her this weekend.
“My own personal experience that I think has benefitted me this season and will this weekend, is the physical and mental resilience I've gained from my knee injury two years ago,” she said.
“I learned so much about myself and my ability to heal and grow (emotionally and physically), from my journey back to the field.”
The Tigers tight-knit bond will also steel Powdrell and her teammates ahead of this Sunday’s clash.
“Easts’ best quality as a team is the culture and genuine connections,” she said.
“We all create an environment where it feels safe to express oneself on and off the field.
“The only expectations I have of my team are what I already know, we're a team of sisters that value each other over any outcome. I feel confident that we are all prepped and perform as best as we can for one other.”
Gary Wilson, the head coach of the East Women’s team, is also a rookie at Tigerland.
In his first season at the helm, he intends to continue the clubs culture of success in the women’s program with a third-straight premiership.
“We are excited for the week’s preparation and the challenge ahead of us against an accomplished Bond side,” Wilson said.
“Felicity is a very hard worker in training and competition. Her influence in our team and on our results can’t be overstated.”
Easts will take on Bond in the Premier Women’s Final at 11:00am this Sunday 18 September. Buy tickets now via https://bit.ly/3qCuKtE.