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London Irish 17:30 Wasps

Wasps suspend duo

Powell and Payne banned pending internal investigation

By Tony Curtis - Twitter: @SkySportsTC.   Last Updated: 19/04/11 7:10pm

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Wasps have announced that they have suspended Andy Powell and Tim Payne pending an internal investigation.

The international duo have been banned with immediate effect, with Wasps refusing to reveal the reasons behind the decision.

Wales No.8 Powell only joined Wasps in the summer from the Cardiff Blues - and previously found himself in hot water over the 'buggy-gate' incident following the RBS Six Nations clash against Scotland in 2010.

England prop Tim Payne also moved to Wasps from Cardiff, although the 31-year-old has been a key figure in the club's front row since 2003.

Payne has won 22 caps but he has not been involved in Martin Johnson's squad since the 21-20 victory over Australia in Sydney in 2010.

A statement from Wasps read: "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."

Police investigation

It has susbsequently emerged that the Metropolitan Police's violent crime unit are investigating an incident in a west London pub which left Powell with a head injury.

Powell and Payne were drinking in the Walkabout pub in Shepherds Bush on Monday night when the altercation took place with a group of men.

A Metropolitan Police spokesperson said: "Officers were called at 22.30 to reports of an altercation at the Walkabout Public House on Shepherds Bush Green, W12.

"An incident is being investigated by officers from the violent crime unit at Hammersmith and Fulham police. No one has yet been arrested and our enquiries are ongoing."

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.

Powell becomes the second Wales player to be suspended within 24 hours, with Gavin Henson having been handed a one-week ban by Toulon.

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