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Wasps Release Troublesome Powell
Did they have any other option?
Posted May 10, 2011 by Chris White
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Following a recent pub brawl, Wales international Andy Powell has had his contracted at Wasps terminated with immediate effect, but the London club didn't really have any other option.
The back-row forward claimed that he was attacked by a group of around 10 football fans in a bar in Shepherd's Bush in April, and Wasps originally suspended the Welshman while the investigated the incident, and announced that Powell was to leave Wasps by "mutual consent."
Powell only joined Wasps on a 12-month contract in the summer having been released by Cardiff Blues.
Welsh Super League club Crusaders have admitted their interest in offering Powell a chance to make a fresh start in Rugby League with Chief Executive Rod Findlay confirming, "Powell is definitely a player of interest to us."
But were Wasps right to release Powell in the first place? There are certainly plenty of arguments for and against the decision, but the fors certainly outweigh the againsts.
Powell had been in fine form for Wasps in what has been a disappointing season for the club, who currently find themselves in 9th position with 9 wins from their 22 fixtures, and Powell scored 1 try in 21 appearances.
From the club's point of view, they had to be seen to have taken action. A player involved in a pub brawl unfortunately does make the front pages of newspapers, and this does not reflect well on the club.
Also, in a sport with a salary-cap, is it worth keeping a player who may spend periods of the season suspended - by either club or governing body - when his wages could be spent on a player who will be available? The answer is obvious. No.
Powell was given a second chance at Wasps after leaving Cardiff and he blew it. The club and supporters welcomed him with open arms, but unfortunately, Powell's repayments did not meet the faith shown in him.
He was dropped by Wales back in 2010 after stealing a golf buggy from the team hotel, and driving it, whilst over the drink-drive limit, down the M4 motorway after Wales' 31-24 victory against Scotland in the Six Nations.
Ultimately, the right decision has been made in my opinion. If a player cannot keep himself off the front pages, rather than the back pages where the club want him, he is letting the club and supporters down and this unwillingness to clean up his act has possibly cost him his international, if not his domestic, rugby union career.