Powell lands driving ban
Wales back row Andy Powell has landed a 15-month driving ban after pleading guilty to driving a golf buggy while unfit through drink.
By Rachel Griffiths
Last Updated: 02/03/10 4:34pm
Wales back row Andy Powell has been hit with a 15-month ban from driving after pleading guilty to driving a golf buggy while under the influence of alcohol.
The 28-year-old number eight was arrested at a motorway service station at junction 33 of the M4 hours after Wales defeated Scotland 31-24 in their RBS Six Nations showdown at the Millennium Stadium last month.
The Cardiff Blues player was taken into custody with another man early on February 14 near the Wales team hotel in the Vale of Glamorgan.
Powell has expressed his remorse over the incident in a statement released through his agent.
"I fully accept the decision and sentence of the court today," said Powell.
"In doing so I am mindful of those whom I have let down by my actions and I again offer a full public apology, especially to my fans who have been so supportive, my family, who have stood by me, and the senior officers, management and coaching staff of both the WRU and Cardiff Blues.
"I would also like to thank the police officers involved in the incident and the management of the Vale Hotel, Golf and Spa Resort for the sympathetic way that they dealt with the situation.
"I realise that many young sportsmen and women look up to international rugby players and that some of them may be amused by my antics with a golf buggy.
"However, they should note my regret and be aware that I do not excuse or condone drink driving in any form."
Powell's international future under Wales coach Warren Gatland has been left in serious doubt after he was dropped from the Six Nations squad as a result of the incident.
The Lions forward was suspended for "behaviour contrary to the squad's code of conduct" and a date has not been set for his return.
With the tour of New Zealand looming this summer, Gatland is yet to make a decision on Powell's international prospects, but the number eight returns to training with the Blues on Wednesday hoping to revive his Test career.
"I now intend to put this matter behind me and to get on with my rugby career and the remainder of the Cardiff Blues season," added Powell.
"I still have aspirations to play for my country, which means so much to me."
As well as the 15-month driving ban, Powell was fined £1,000 and ordered to pay £85 costs and a £15 victims surcharge.