Robert Powell (born (1980-08-16) 16 August 1980 (age 37)) is the
head coach of Kent
London & South East Men's League side Medway
Dragons and the Head of Youth at Kingstone Press Championship side
London Broncos. He is the former head coach of the
Rugby League Club and former defence coach at
Cardiff Blues Rugby
3 Coaching statistics
5 External links
Powell was born in Sheffield, Yorkshire, England.
His background in Rugby League began in 1998 at Newcastle University,
where he studied history. However, his playing experience lasted only
a handful of games, and his brief playing career in the sport ended at
the age of 19.
After completing his bachelor's degree at Newcastle University, he
started an MSc in sports management at Northumbria University, and
this period of his life saw him manage his former university at Rugby
His side won the North East Cup, qualified for the BUSA final and
twice competed in the Challenge Cup during his three years in charge,
which saw him progress to the Challenge Cup second round in 2001.
He was introduced to
London Broncos and completed a six-week placement
as part of his course in 2002.
In 2003, he moved to
London as a full-time Rugby League community
sports coach, introducing new players and clubs to the game, and
became assistant to Darryl Pitt at South
When Pitt departed, Powell took charge in December 2004, and shortly
after the club announced their intention to move from a nationwide
competition to the
London centric RLC Premier Division.
The club excelled in this weaker competition, and Powell won Coach of
the Year in 2005, whilst in 2006 the club won the RLC Premier
Powell then became the under-16 foundation coach at Harlequins Rugby
League club in 2006, and a series of coaches departing, such as Dave
Evans and Damian McGrath, saw him become the under 21's assistant
coach and then assistant to head coach to Brian McDermott in a very
short space of time.
As one of two assistants to McDermott – the other being Latham
Tawhai – these three saw the club's performances decline year on
year from 7th in 2006 to 9th in both 2007 and 2008 then to 11th in
2009 and finally to 13th in 2010.
McDermott and Powell in tandem had seen only eight wins from their
last 40 games together.
When McDermott announced he was moving on, Powell was not really
viewed as a replacement due to his lack of seniority, lack of playing
experience, lack of management experience and poor results at all
levels whilst he was at the club.
It was a huge shock within the world of Rugby League when he was
appointed head coach.
His first year in sole charge saw him got off to an amazing start with
three pre-season wins followed by a win at the Magic weekend against
Catalans, a home win v Crusaders, an away win at Leeds, a close home
defeat to Huddersfield and an away win at St Helens. Winning four
games from the first five saw the
Super League franchise top
for the first time ever.
Powell coaching in 2011
However, there were only a further two wins, one draw and nineteen
losses from the next twenty two games and it was widely expected that
Powell would leave the club at the end of the 2011 season.
London Broncos heavily invested in the transfer market and
spent up to the salary cap but continued to lose heavily week on week,
gaining just three wins from 20 matches.
London Broncos supporters campaigned for his removal with a
Facebook site to 'Throw in the Towel – Powell', and a series of
negative comments on RL Fans Forum and the club's official Facebook
page and in midseason the club acknowledged that there would be a
About two months later Powell was removed from the head coach position
on 17 July 2012.
He was replaced by Tony Rea, whose four wins from the last seven games
surpassed Powell's record of three wins from twenty games.
On 18 October 2012 it was announced that Powell would be working at
Cardiff Blues Rugby Union Club.
After a particularly heavy defeat to Exeter Chiefs in the Heineken
Cup, it was announced on 17 October 2013 that Powell and the Cardiff
Blues had parted company.
On 13 March 2014,
Medway Dragons announced the appointment of Powell
as head coach in plans to join League 1 in 5 years time. In his first
season, he won the South East Premier League grand final with the
As of 5 May 2015
Start of 2011 Season
17 July 2012
^ Rugby League Project
Tony Rea replaces
Rob Powell as
London Broncos coach". 17 July
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Rob Powell.
London Broncos profile
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Eagles re-united in Challenge Cup
Established 1980 in London, England
International representative players
Crystal Palace National Sports Centre
Chiswick Polytechnic Sports Ground
Trailfinders Sports Ground
Hall of Fame
Rugby Football League Championship Second Division Champions
Super League II runners-up
1999 Challenge Cup runners-up
Tony Currie (1996–1998)
Dan Stains (1999)
Tony Rea /
Les Kiss (1999)
John Monie (2000)
Tony Rea (2000–2006)
Brian McDermott (2006-2010)
Rob Powell (2011-2012)
Tony Rea (2012-2014)
Joey Grima (2014-2015)
Andrew Henderson (2015-2017)
Danny Ward (2018-)
Mark McLinden (2005)
Rob Purdham (2006–2011)
Craig Gower (2012-2013)
Tony Clubb (2013)
Antonio Kaufusi (2013)
Matt Cook (2014)
Richard Mathers (2015)
Nick Slyney (2015)
Wes Naiqama (2016)
Daniel Harrison (2017)
Jay Pitts (2018-)
Super League Founding Member