WRU remove Powell from Six Nations squad15/02/2010 - 13:45:42
Back row forward Andy Powell has been removed from the 35-man Wales squad for the RBS 6 Nations with immediate effect, the Welsh Rugby Union has confirmed.
Powell will appear in court next month charged with drink-driving after he was arrested with a golf buggy at motorway services.
Back row forward Powell, 28, was arrested early yesterday, hours after his team beat Scotland in a thrilling Six Nations match.
He was detained with another 28-year-old man at the service station near junction 33 of the M4 motorway, close to the spa hotel in the Vale of Glamorgan where his team were staying.
South Wales Police said Powell was charged with “driving a mechanically propelled vehicle whilst unfit through drink”.
He was arrested with the other man and subsequently failed a breathalyser test, police said. The men did not drive the buggy on to the motorway.
The four-star Vale Hotel, Golf and Spa Resort in Hensol is the official hotel used by the Wales squad, where they train and host press conferences.
Mike Burton, Powell’s agent, told BBC Radio Five Live the player was “very sorry and embarrassed about what happened”.
He said: “Andy had been celebrating after Wales’s victory over Scotland in Cardiff on Saturday.
“He got back to the hotel and got to bed some time after 12, 1am time.
“He had a friend come to see him the next morning, a chap who lives in Brecon who was going to drive him home. He’s not another member of the team or anything.
“Andy got up at 6.30am, about 7am he went down for breakfast where the facilities were not ready so they said ’Why don’t we go down to the motorway services where we can get something there?’
“They walked out of the reception area, there was a golf buggy there and they used that to get to the services where the police asked them how they got there.
“By the time he talked to the police it was 7am and he was asked to take a breath test.”
He confirmed Powell failed the test and added: “Andy was disappointed and embarrassed to find himself in this position.
“He does not excuse or condone drink-driving in any form and it was a misjudgment. He is sorry and he will face up to it.”
He confirmed Powell would meet national squad managers later in the week.
A statement from the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) said: “The National Squad views matters of player conduct extremely seriously.
“Members of the National Squad management will formally speak to the player before any further statement is issued.”
Powell, who is 6ft 4in, has won 14 caps for Wales and toured with the British Lions squad to South Africa.
He has played regional rugby for Cardiff Blues since 2005, after joining from the Llanelli Scarlets. He has also played for Beziers, Leicester and Newport.
His profile on the WRU website describes him as “a deadly runner in the loose and powerful off the base of the scrum”.
He is due to appear at Cardiff Magistrates’ Court on March 2.
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