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Club Rugby

Wasps suspend Andy Powell and Tim Payne with 'immediate effect'

Wasps have suspended their international forwards Andy Powell and Tim Payne.

The Aviva Premiership club say the suspension takes "immediate effect, pending an internal investigation".

Number eight Powell becomes the second Wales Test player to be suspended by his club in 24 hours after French club Toulon imposed a week-long ban on Gavin Henson yesterday.

England prop Payne, meanwhile, has won 22 caps, although he did not feature in Martin Johnson's autumn Test or RBS 6 Nations plans this season.

In a statement, Wasps said: "London Wasps have today suspended Andy Powell and Tim Payne with immediate effect pending an internal investigation.

"The club is not in a position to disclose any further details at this stage and will not comment again until the internal investigation has concluded."

Wasps played Leeds Carnegie in the Premiership two days ago - a game that Payne started but did not include Powell. Their next match is at Twickenham on Saturday, when they host Bath.

Payne, 31, is currently a fringe candidate for England World Cup squad selection later this year.

He has not featured for England since the second Test against Australia Down Under last summer, and is behind the likes of Andrew Sheridan and Alex Corbisiero in manager Martin Johnson's current pecking order.

Powell, meanwhile, is no stranger to controversy.

He joined Wasps from Cardiff Blues in July last year after the Magners League side agreed to release him early from his contract.

Powell, 29, penned a year-long deal with Wasps, and he forced his way back into Wales contention during this season's autumn internationals before starting the Six Nations opener against England in February before being injured.

He was kicked out of Wales' Six Nations squad by coach Warren Gatland last year 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.