Pacy Pesamino keeps Sale guessing over his arrival date

Coach left in the dark after Samoan winger blames visa problems for failing to report to Edgeley Park

Mikaele Pesamino, the spectacularly successful seven-a-side specialist from Samoa, is widely considered to be among the quickest players in world rugby. Unfortunately for Sale, his new employers, the Pacific islander's move to the north-west of England has been slow to the point of tortoise-like. A day before the start of a new Aviva Premiership season that is pivotal to the club's future as a serious force in the domestic game, there is still no sign of the man, although if he is as fast as people say, he may possibly have been and gone without anyone noticing.

Mike Brewer, who is about to embark on his first campaign as the head coach at Edgeley Park, is more than a little baffled – hardly an ideal state of mind, given the proximity of tomorrow night's opener against Newcastle. "Mikaele's agent is Freddie Tuilagi, who's a difficult chap to get hold of," Brewer said, referring to the former Samoan Test forward who played a good deal of club rugby in these islands with Leicester and Cardiff Blues. "But I spoke to him this week and at this stage, a visa has not been granted for Mikaele. We're trying to find out from the Home Office whether it's an administration error or whether it's something we didn't know about when applying. From previous history and precedent there is no reason why it shouldn't be granted because Mikaele has played international rugby for Samoa within the last 18 months."

Brewer's perplexity deepened when another Samoan, the full-back Paul Williams, turned up as expected with a visa in his back pocket. "I want Mikaele here yesterday," the coach told the Manchester Evening News. "He's very much part of my plans – he always has been and will continue to be. He would add another dimension with his out-and-out pace, though I'm not saying he'd walk straight into the starting team because he has a lot to learn in the 15-a-side game. It would be nice to have him here, though."

According to sources in Samoa, the wing has so much to learn that he actually thought he was joining a rugby league side when he agreed terms with Sale earlier in the summer. There are also suggestions from back home that he has abandoned his plans to head north and recommitted himself to the seven-a-side format ahead of the forthcoming Commonwealth Games.

Brewer, however, does not believe his new signing is having second thoughts. "He said he had done his time playing sevens," he reported, adding that if Pesamino failed to show, there would be no rush to identify a replacement. The coach has been impressed by two young wings in Tom Brady and Rhys Crane and has two veterans of World Cup finals, Mark Cueto and Ben Cohen, on his roster, as well as the versatile Mathew Tait.

Leicester, who face a stiff opening game of the local derby variety at Northampton on Sunday, will be without their international No 8 Jordan Crane for two months. Crane has had surgery on an ankle injury and is not expected to regain fitness in time to feature in the opening rounds of the Heineken Cup next month.

Initially, the player himself thought he would spend around 12 weeks on the sidelines – information he committed to Twitter, much to the chagrin of his director of rugby, Richard Cockerill. "If he does that again, I'll break both his ankles," Cockerill remarked, only half-jokingly. Yesterday, the former England hooker had calmed down a little. "Jordan needed some ligament damage to be cleaned up," he said. "Unfortunately, it was a bit worse than we feared."

Cockerill's injury list is not growing any shorter. Another England forward, the lock Louis Deacon, is unlikely to be able to make the journey to Franklin's Gardens because of persistent problems with his back, and with Geoff Parling and Richard Blaze also among the early-season casualties, and the new signing Steve Mafi not long arrived from Australia, the champions are very much up against it on the engine room front.

Exeter, meanwhile, expect to break new ground at the newly expanded Sandy Park stadium by attracting a capacity crowd of almost 11,000 for their Premiership debut outing against Gloucester on Saturday.

Arts and Entertainment
Banksy's 'The Girl with the Pierced Eardrum' in Bristol
art'Girl with the Pierced Eardrum' followed hoax reports artist had been arrested and unveiled
Life and Style
tech

Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift

Voices
Stephanie first after her public appearance as a woman at Rad Fest 2014
voices

Arts and Entertainment
James Blunt's debut album Back to Bedlam shot him to fame in 2004
music

Singer says the track was 'force-fed down people's throats'

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
peopleJust weeks after he created dress for Alamuddin-Clooney wedding
Life and Style
A street vendor in Mexico City sells Dorilocos, which are topped with carrot, jimaca, cucumber, peanuts, pork rinds, spices and hot sauce
food + drink

Trend which requires crisps, a fork and a strong stomach is sweeping Mexico's streets

Arts and Entertainment
George Lucas poses with a group of Star Wars-inspired Disney characters at Disney's Hollywood Studios in 2010
films

George Lucas criticises the major Hollywood film studios

Sport
football West Brom vs Man Utd match report: Blind grabs point, but away form a problem for Van Gaal
Arts and Entertainment
Bloom Time: Mira Sorvino
tvMira Sorvino on leaving movie roles for 'The Intruders'
Arts and Entertainment
Leonardo DiCaprio talks during the press conference for the film
films

Film follows park rangers in the Congo

Arts and Entertainment
Gotham is coming to UK shores this autumn
tvGotham, episode 2, review
News
i100
Sport
Adel Taraabt in action for QPR against West Ham earlier this month
footballQPR boss says midfielder is 'not fit to play football'
News
First woman: Valentina Tereshkova
peopleNASA guinea pig Kate Greene thinks it might fly
Voices
Chris Grayling, Justice Secretary: 'There are pressures which we are facing but there is not a crisis'
voices

Does Chris Grayling realise what a vague concept he is dealing with?

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

Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Let's talk about loss

We need to talk about loss

Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Women may be better suited to space travel than men are
Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album