Fuimaono returns after Twitter ban

 

Tweet it quietly, but Eliota Fuimaono-Sapolu will be back on a rugby field tonight for the first time since committing the latest of his many social media misdemeanours a little over three weeks ago.

The Samoan centre, whose brilliant performance against the Springboks at the World Cup in September was rather overshadowed by his dramatic contributions to the debates over tournament scheduling and refereeing standards, starts for Gloucester in the Premiership match at Newcastle.

Fuimaono-Sapolu is not naturally inclined to under-reaction – his fury at the treatment of his national team during the global gathering led him to compare the perceived injustice to slavery, apartheid and the Holocaust, and drove him to accuse the Welsh official Nigel Owens of racism – and he was thoroughly carpeted by the International Rugby Board as a consequence. Did that teach him to keep his views to himself? Not quite. No sooner had he resurfaced at Kingsholm than he took to the Twittersphere to offer his critical views on the young Saracens midfielder Owen Farrell. This led to an immediate three-week rest without the option, and the IRB may yet activate a suspended six-month ban by way of reinforcing the point, although this is now considered unlikely.

"Eliota is a world-class player and all I want from him is to prove how good he is, every week," said Bryan Redpath, the Gloucester coach, who has paired the South Seas islander with Mike Tindall – the England centre who has had a disciplinary problem or two of his own just recently. "He's keen to do his talking on the pitch. I'm told he's put his tweeting to bed, although I don't look at that stuff so I wouldn't know."

Redpath, who believes his side would have beaten Leicester at Kingsholm last weekend had his prize centre been on the pitch, welcomes back James Simpson-Daniel and his fellow wing Tom Voyce, and will run Dave Lewis ahead of the Scottish international Rory Lawson at scrum-half. Another Lawson, the hooker Scott, returns to the front row.

Newcastle, bottom of the table by a fair distance and uncomfortably aware of the relegation scrap to come, have made no fewer than seven changes to the side that took a walloping from the Premiership pacesetters Harlequins five days ago. Greg Goosen, Corne Uys and Ryan Shortland come into the back line, Jordi Pasqualin starts at scrum-half against his old club and three forwards – the props Euan Murray and Grant Shiells and the flanker Will Welch – get the nod up front.

There was a dose of bad news for Northampton yesterday when the Rugby Football Union announced that Phil Dowson had been cited for an alleged illegal tip-tackle on Saracens full-back Alex Goode. Dowson will appear before a tribunal chaired by the governing body's chief disciplinary officer, Judge Jeff Blackett, at the Royal Courts of Justice in London next Tuesday.

On the political front, the RFU council meets today to begin discussions on a root-and-branch overhaul of the way the governing body is run. The debate on moves to cut the size of the council by more than 50 per cent and shift the balance of power towards the executive wing is not expected to be concluded until next summer's annual meeting.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Sainsbury's could roll the lorries out across its whole fleet if they are successful
tech
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Sport
Ojo Onaolapo celebrates winning the bronze medal
commonwealth games
Arts and Entertainment
Rock band Led Zeppelin in the early 1970s
musicLed Zeppelin to release alternative Stairway To Heaven after 43 years
Arts and Entertainment
High-flyer: Chris Pratt in 'Guardians of the Galaxy'
filmHe was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
Arts and Entertainment
'Old Fashioned' will be a different kind of love story to '50 Shades'
film
Life and Style
fashionHealth concerns and 'pornified' perceptions have made women more conscious at the beach
Arts and Entertainment
Tracey Emin's 'My Bed' is returning to the Tate more than 15 years after it first caused shockwaves at the gallery
artTracey Emin's bed returns to the Tate after record sale
Arts and Entertainment
Smart mover: Peter Bazalgette
filmHow live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences
Environment
Neil Young performing at Hyde Park, London, earlier this month
environment
News
i100
News
Prince Harry is clearing enjoying the Commonwealth Games judging by this photo
people(a real one this time)
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

Broadcasting plays and exhibitions to cinemas is a sure-fire box office smash
Shipping container hotels: Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Spending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but these mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
Native American headdresses are not fashion accessories

Feather dust-up

A Canadian festival has banned Native American headwear. Haven't we been here before?
Boris Johnson's war on diesel

Boris Johnson's war on diesel

11m cars here run on diesel. It's seen as a greener alternative to unleaded petrol. So why is London's mayor on a crusade against the black pump?
5 best waterproof cameras

Splash and flash: 5 best waterproof cameras

Don't let water stop you taking snaps with one of these machines that will take you from the sand to meters deep
Louis van Gaal interview: Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era

Louis van Gaal interview

Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era
The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them altogether

Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them

Jonathon Porritt sounds the alarm
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz