Powell's around the world tour to become a better player

Joe Powell in action during Brumbies training. Photo: Dion Georgopoulos
Joe Powell in action during Brumbies training. Photo: Dion Georgopoulos

Joe Powell spent six months travelling around the world for 27 minutes of Test-match game time last year, so you could forgive him for being sick of training.

But the ACT Brumbies scrumhalf is adamant his time on the fringes will make him a better player and help him step up as a leader to ease the pressure on playmaking partner Christian Lealiifano.

The full Brumbies band was back together on Tuesday for the first time when Lealiifano and David Pocock were part of team meetings and training sessions.

It marks the start of the the club's hopes of chasing a Super Rugby title, and Powell says it's time for young players to stand tall and shoulder more responsibility.

They will get a chance to prove themselves when first-year coach Dan McKellar puts the players on a bus and sends them to a mystery location on Wednesday.

Some joke they've packed passports while others have heard rumours of commando-style trainers being brought in to toughen them up, but none know the real challenges McKellar has planned.

If it's pure rugby training drills, Powell will be at the top of the class after being part of the Wallabies squad for every Test last year but getting minimal time on the field.

The 23-year-old enjoyed a breakout Super Rubgy season for the Brumbies and was rewarded with a Wallabies call up. Now he wants to take the next step in his young career.

"It's huge to have [Lealiifano and Pocock] back with the experience they have, but for the other boys it's not about relying on them coming back," Powell said.

"It's about bringing them back in and making them feel comfortable ... we have a broad leadership group at the moment and that's something different for me.

"It's something for me to work on and being a halfback, you probably need to lead them around the park a bit so it's good to get that experience.

"[Last year] I had a lot of training and not much footy so it was good to get some time away where I didn't really think about any footy stuff and that was really good for me.

"I came back really excited to be back for the Brumbies."

McKellar will mentally and physically test his squad at a three-day training camp before starting preparations for a trial match against the Melbourne Rebels on February 3.

Pocock will miss at least the first month of the season after having knee surgery, but Lealiifano is back to full fitness following a stint at Irish club Ulster.

Lealiifano stepped off the plane and went straight to Brumbies headquarters, but his teammates have already warned him to fear the unknown of McKellar's first camp.

Christian Lealiifano returned to Brumbies headquarters on Tuesday.

Christian Lealiifano returned to Brumbies headquarters on Tuesday. Photo: Dion Georgopoulos

"I'm hearing rumours [about the camp], Las Vegas was one," grinned Kyle Godwin.

"They've told us to bring our passports in, but I'm feeling like we won't be going too far from Canberra.

"Hopefully it's interesting and fun to get that team bond going and build us into the season. There will be tough times, I'm sure, but it will be good."

This story Powell's around the world tour to become a better player first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.