Andy Powell offers details of pub brawl with football fans

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The Independent Online

Wales international Andy Powell has said he was knocked unconscious in a bar room brawl with football supporters that left him requiring hospital treatment.

The Metropolitan Police's violent crimes unit are investigating the incident, which occurred on Monday night in the Walkabout Pub on Shepherds Bush Green.

Powell, who required "at least 10 stitches" in a head wound, and his Wasps team-mate Tim Payne have both been suspended by the club pending an internal investigation into the incident.

Powell told the Daily Telegraph "it all kicked off" after "a bit of banter" with some Queens Park Rangers supporters.

"I was knocked to the ground by a gang who then started to kick and punch me," said Powell.

"It was pretty scary. I curled up into a ball and put my hands over my face and temples but couldn't cover the back of my head.

"I was then hit by a bar stool and lost consciousness after that but I suffered a pretty bad cut. There was blood everywhere.

"I think I lost around two pints of blood in the pub and was taken away in an wheelchair and then taken by ambulance to a hospital where they stitched me up.

"I needed at least 10 stitches but I am OK now. I am feeling sore all over, but it was just one of those things."

Powell said he does not want to press charges.

The police investigation is on-going. There have been no arrests.

The Rugby Football Union are monitoring the situation.

Payne, 31, is a member of England's elite squad and could be selected for the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand later this year.

"We are aware of the incident but at the current time this is a matter for the players and their club and we are working with them to understand the facts of the situation," said an RFU spokesman.

"We are confident the players will co-operate fully with the club's internal investigation."

Powell is the second Wales Test player this week to be suspended by his club.

On Monday, Toulon imposed a week-long ban on Gavin Henson, amid reports he had been fighting with team-mates after their Top 14 victory over Toulouse.

Powell is no stranger to controversy.

Last year he was kicked out of Wales' Six Nations squad by coach Warren Gatland after being arrested for taking and driving away a golf buggy following a dramatic victory over Scotland.

Powell was arrested near a motorway junction close to Wales' training base in the Vale of Glamorgan.

He subsequently pleaded guilty at Cardiff Magistrates' Court to driving a mechanically-propelled vehicle while being unfit through drink. He received a 15-month driving ban and was also fined.

Powell joined Wasps on a one-season deal from Cardiff Blues in July last year after the Magners League side agreed to release him early from his contract.

The 29-year-old forced his way back into Wales contention during this season's autumn internationals. He started the Six Nations opener against England in February before being injured.