Powell dropped from Wales squad
February 15, 2010
Andy Powell has paid a heavy price for his actions © Getty Images
Wales flanker Andy Powell has been dropped from Wales' Six Nations squad after being arrested for drink-driving following their thrilling 31-24 victory over Scotland at the Millennium Stadium on Saturday.
The Blues back-row took a golf buggy from the team hotel and drove, along with a friend, to a service station near junction 33 of the M4 motorway. Powell was breathalysed and subsequently charged with "driving a mechanically propelled vehicle whilst unfit through drink".
Powell will appear at Cardiff Magistrates' Court on February 2 and has now been punished following a discussion with the squad's management. Powell has played 14 Tests for Wales since making his debut against South Africa in November 2008 and toured with the British & Irish Lions in 2009.
"We take matters of player conduct extremely seriously and have been happy with the professionalism and discipline of this squad in general terms," Wales team manager Alan Phillips said. "Andy knows he has misbehaved and is apologetic, but he also knows that he must take responsibility for his own actions and accept the repercussions.
"This kind of behaviour cannot be tolerated in a professional, elite sporting environment and we have acted quickly and incisively in order to leave no ambiguity over the dim view we take of this situation.
"The player has made his private apologies to the Welsh management team as well as apologising in a public statement and we have also asked him to apologise to the Vale Resort Hotel, before asking him to leave the squad. We will now leave the South Wales Police service to conclude the matter and we will be making no further public statements at this time."
Powell will not be replaced in the squad, with his back-row spot likely to go to the Ospreys' Jonathan Thomas or his Blues team-mate Sam Warburton for the visit of France to Cardiff on February 26.
Meanwhile, Scarlets hooker Ken Owens has received a call-up as cover for the injured Matthew Rees and Gareth Williams.
It's time for those running Welsh rugby to stop trying to prevent its players heading to France and to start planning a future without them, writes Martin Williamson
Paul Eddison explains how the French sold English clubs down the river and why their domestic game will go from strength to strength
'Nothing can prepare you for the noise of the Millennium Stadium though, you just can't hear anything." Tom Hamilton talks to Cory Allen
Following a weekend where Wales suffered more heartbreak against Australia and the Aviva Premiership showed its class, the Monday Maul looks back at some of the key talking points