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Page last updated at 09:57 GMT, Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Wales back-row Andy Powell regrets 'stupid prank'

Andy Powell in the Wales v Scotland match
Andy Powell played during Wales' victory over Scotland

Andy Powell fears his drink-drive charge after an alleged golf buggy incident may cost him his Wales career.

The Cardiff Blues back-row, 28, was dropped from Wales' RBS Six Nations squad over the incident, which followed their win over Scotland in Cardiff.

"After beating Scotland the way we did I had a few too many beers," he said.

"I should have been thinking more about what I was doing and, if I had, I would never have done it. It was a stupid prank which went badly wrong."

Powell was arrested with another man at 0540 GMT on 14 February at services off junction 33 of the M4 near the Wales team hotel in the Vale of Glamorgan.

That was hours after he played in the dramatic 31-24 come-from-behind win over Scotland at the Millennium Stadium the previous Saturday afternoon.

The Welsh Rugby Union took a very dim view of Powell's behaviour which was "contrary to the squad's code of conduct" and suspended the player.

"I regret terribly what I did. I know it could cost me my international career and that tears me up inside every time I think about it," added Powell, who was selected for last summer's British and Irish Lions squad to South Africa.

"Gutted is not a strong enough word for how I feel. I've brought it all upon myself and I realise now that it could have a serious effect on my future.

"I have let Wales down, my family, the fans and everyone involved with rugby, especially [head coach] Warren Gatland, who gave me the chance to play for my country.

"There is a danger that I won't get the chance to play for Wales again. It's going to be tough but it's up to me to rebuild my career and get it back on track."

Powell is due to appear at Cardiff Magistrates' Court on 2 March charged with driving a mechanically-propelled vehicle while unfit through drink.

He said he took the buggy from outside the team's hotel because he "wanted to get a bar of chocolate and a sandwich" from the service station two miles down the motorway.

"At five o'clock in the morning that seemed to be the best option and the golf buggies are always outside the front," Powell told the Daily Mail.

"I didn't think it would do any harm to borrow one for the ride.

"I picked up a cone and a flashing orange light from the side of the road before I got to the motorway, which was even more stupid.

"I've done stupid things before when I've had too many sherbets but nothing like this."



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see also
Powell removed from Wales squad
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Gatland warns Wales back-row pair
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Wales drop Andy Powell from team
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Gatland hails 'amazing' Wales win
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Six Nations thriller to remember
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