Powell fears international career could be over
February 24, 2010
Powell was dropped from Wales' Six Nations squad in the wake of his early morning ride on a golf buggy © PA Photos
Andy Powell is fearful the "stupid prank" that led to Wales dropping him from their Six Nations squad could cost him his international career.
The 28-year-old, capped 14 times by his country since his debut in 2008, was arrested for drink driving at a service station in the early hours of February 14 after driving a golf buggy along the M4 motorway. The Cardiff Blues forward's indiscretion came following a night of celebrations following Wales' spectacular come-from-behind 31-24 win over Scotland and the Millennium Stadium the previous day.
The Welsh Rugby Union acted immediately and dropped Powell from the Wales squad and Powell, speaking for the first time since the incident, admits he may now never play for his country again.
"After beating Scotland the way we did I had a few too many beers and enjoyed the night a bit too much," 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. 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. 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 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, who is due to appear at Cardiff Magistrates' Court on March 2, 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 [taking a buggy] seemed to be the best option and the golf buggies are always outside the front," he 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."