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Powell dropped by Welsh in drink-drive buggy arrest

There are many Welsh rugby landmarks. The most unusual, however, is probably the J33 of the M4 motorway.

It was here that Welsh star Andy Powell acted "contrary to the squad's code of conduct", which led to him being dropped from Wales' Six National Squad.

The 28-year-old was arrested early on Sunday morning after allegedly going for a joyride in a golf buggy, taking it at low speed for several miles down the hard shoulder of the busy motorway, following extended celebrations to mark his team's last-gasp win over Scotland.

Powell, who toured with the British and Irish Lions to South Africa, will appear at Cardiff Magistrates' Court next month charged with "driving a mechanically propelled vehicle whilst unfit through drink".

The buggy was taken from the four-star Vale Hotel Golf and Spa Resort where the team had been preparing for the game.

The hotel is situated a junction further west from the service station where Powell failed a breath test. A second man -- a friend and not a Welsh player -- was released without charge.

While some in the game admit that Powell is not the first player to overindulge after taking part in a high-adrenaline victory, the sport's governing body moved swiftly ahead of the team's next match in two weeks.

Wales's team manager Alan Phillips gave no indication when Powell could expect to return to the side and ordered him to apologise to hotel staff.

He 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."

Powell's agent Mike Burton issued a contrite apology on behalf of the 14-times capped international who he said was "very sorry and embarrassed about what happened".

hnews@herald.ie


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