Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Andy Powell accepts Wales Six Nations squad expulsion

RUGBY star Andy Powell says he accepts the decision to drop him from the Wales squad following his golf buggy drink-drive charge.

Powell was sent home from the squad after a meeting with the team management yesterday.

The Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) described his actions as “behaviour contrary to the squad’s code of conduct” when it announced he was to be thrown out of the 35-man squad.

In a statement after the decision, Powell’s agent Mike Burton said: “Andy Powell has accepted the disciplinary decision handed down by the WRU today.

“Andy remains a committed professional and will now work towards re-establishing himself in the Welsh squad at a time when the WRU team management think fit.”

He is due to appear before Cardiff Magistrates on March 2 to face a charge of driving a mechanically propelled vehicle whilst unfit through drink.

Powell was arrested with a friend at a service station off Junction 33 of the M4 on Sunday morning, close to the spa hotel in the Vale of Glamorgan where the Wales team were staying.

Robert Norster, chief executive of Powell’s club Cardiff Blues, said: “Following on from the surreal finish to the weekend’s encounter with Scotland, the news of what appears to be a bizarre but serious lack of judgement by one of our players whilst on national duty is of real concern.

“Consequently, we fully accept and respect the WRU’s understandable and prompt action to address the issue. Naturally, as this is an ongoing police matter, we will also not be commenting further at this time.”

In a statement, 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 WRU’s decision was also backed by road safety campaigners who said it sends out a clear message.

Ellen Booth, campaigns officer for road safety charity Brake, said: “Brake applauds the Wales management team for removing Powell from the team and sending a clear message to supporters of Welsh rugby, many of whom will have seen Powell as a role model.”

Mike Burton had earlier said the player was “very sorry and embarrassed about what happened”.

He confirmed that Powell failed the breath test, adding: “He does not excuse or condone drink-driving in any form and it was a misjudgement. He is sorry and he will face up to it.”

The second man who was arrested has been released by police and will not face any further charges.

Wales V Italy Hospitality

Six Nations Hospitality

No comments:

Post a Comment