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 off-field 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 30-man World Cup squad. He has been building towards the tournament since winning his first Test cap in 2008 and must now throw himself on 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.
British rugby, recently beset by disciplinary problems surrounding the likes of Delon Armitage and Ben Foden – not to mention the Welsh centre Gavin Henson's misdemeanours in France and Danny Cipriani's nonsenses in Australia – is far from alone in dishing out punishments. Yesterday, the outstanding Wallaby back Digby Ioane was fined for using his Twitter account to describe the New Zealand official Keith Brown as "the worst ever ref".
Brown awarded a late penalty that allowed the Wellington-based Hurricanes to beat Ioane's Queensland Reds outfit 28-26 in a Super 15 game last weekend. At a Sanzar judicial hearing, the player was fined A$2,000 (£1,300) and ordered to write a letter of apology to the match referee.
Perpignan, heavily beaten by Northampton in a one-sided Heineken Cup semi-final in Milton Keynes last weekend, have appointed Jacques Delmas as their head coach for next season, having failed to lure Scott Johnson away from the Swansea-based Ospreys. Delmas, who had a successful spell with Biarritz and a less rewarding one at Stade Français, will replace Jacques Brunel, who takes charge of the Italian national side after the World Cup.
Roll of dishonour
Andy Powell has been in trouble before (and he's not alone):
Andy Powell Took a drunken ride in a golf buggy after a Wales game and was dropped from Six Nations squad.
Ben Foden Northampton full-back had an altercation with a taxi driver and caused criminal damage to the cab. Was given a police caution.
Gavin Henson Banned following a clash with Toulon team-mates in a city centre nightclub. Suspension since lifted.
Delon Armitage London Irish full-back was handed three-week suspension for striking Northampton's Stephen Myler.
Danny Cipriani Handed one-game ban for breaking curfew after Melbourne's defeat against New South Wales.Reuse content