Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 21 August 2014

Wasps duo suspended

Andy Powell

Wasps have suspended their international forwards Andy Powell and Tim Payne.

The Aviva Premiership club say the suspension takes "immediate effect, pending an internal investigation".

In a statement, Wasps said: "London Wasps have 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."

Number eight Powell becomes the second Wales Test player to be suspended by his club 24 hours after French club Toulon imposed a week-long ban on Gavin Henson on Monday.

England prop Payne, meanwhile, has won 22 caps, although he did not feature in Martin Johnson's autumn Test or RBS 6 Nations plans this season.

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.

Payne, 31, is currently a fringe candidate for England World Cup squad selection later this year.

He has not featured for England since the second Test against Australia Down Under last summer, and is behind the likes of Andrew Sheridan and Alex Corbisiero in manager Martin Johnson's current pecking order.

Powell, meanwhile, is no stranger to controversy. He joined Wasps from Cardiff Blues in July last year after the Magners League side agreed to release him early from his contract.

Powell, 29, penned a year-long deal with Wasps, and he forced his way back into Wales contention during this season's autumn internationals before starting the Six Nations opener against England in February before being injured.

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