Powell in World Cup limbo after Wasps axe No 8

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The Independent Online

Andy Powell, the Wasps forward who suffered head wounds during a pub brawl with football supporters last month and has been suspended ever since, parted company with the Londoners last night. A spokesman for the Premiership club trotted out the usual "by mutual consent" line, but it was clear that the Welsh No 8 had been declared surplus to requirements. Powell now finds himself unemployed, less than four months before the World Cup in New Zealand.

Wasps board members met on Tuesday to discuss the issue, having viewed CCTV footage of the dust-up in a Shepherd's Bush bar and read statements from those who witnessed the incident, which attracted the attention of the Metropolitan Police. "Both parties are satisfied that this matter has been dealt with in a proper, fair and appropriate manner and agree that the conclusion reached is in their respective best interests," said the spokesman.

Powell, a Lions tourist in South Africa two years ago, joined Wasps last July from Cardiff Blues, who were less than impressed by his notorious golf-buggy ride down the M4 after last year's Six Nations match between Wales and Scotland – an indiscretion that cost him his place in the Red Dragons squad, as well as a 15-month driving ban. In releasing him from the last year of his contract, the Blues said he had "lost his way".

Until this latest adventure, Powell had hoped to secure a long-term deal at Adams Park – something that would have underpinned his bid for a place in his country's World Cup squad. He has been building towards that since winning his first cap in 2008 and must now throw himself at the mercy of Warren Gatland, the national coach. The two men are expected to meet over the next few days, with the Welsh Rugby Union chief executive, Roger Lewis, in attendance.

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