Wales offer Powell a shot at redemption

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Andrew Powell, one of the more troublesome individuals in rugby's recent annals, has been handed a chance to atone for his sins – golf-buggy driving on the M4, bar-room brawling in London – by a Wales hierarchy who believe his physicality will be of more value to them at next month's World Cup than the more sophisticated skills of the long-serving flanker Martyn Williams.

It is a hard call on Williams but Powell did enough in last weekend's win over Argentina to swing the vote. The versatile Scarlets forward Josh Turnbull also misses out, largely because Warren Gatland has opted to take eight front-row forwards rather than seven.

Scotland have omitted the gifted No 8 Johnnie Beattie. Richie Vernon, who will play for Sale when he returns from New Zealand, has made the cut, as has the Gloucester flanker Alasdair Strokosch.

There were fallers in Ireland, too – most notably the Lions Test wing Luke Fitzgerald, beaten to a place by Leicester's Geordan Murphy, and the Munster scrum-half Tomas O'Leary, overtaken by Conor Murray.