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.

News
A 1930 image of the Karl Albrecht Spiritousen and Lebensmittel shop, Essen. The shop was opened by Karl and Theo Albrecht’s mother; the brothers later founded Aldi
people
Arts and Entertainment
Standing the test of time: Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd in 'Back to the Future'
filmA cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Arts and Entertainment
Flora Spencer-Longhurst as Lavinia, William Houston as Titus Andronicus and Dyfan Dwyfor as Lucius
theatreThe Shakespeare play that proved too much for more than 100 people
News
exclusivePunk icon Viv Albertine on Sid Vicious, complacent white men, and why free love led to rape
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Stir crazy: Noel Fielding in 'Luxury Comedy 2: Tales from Painted Hawaii'
comedyAs ‘Luxury Comedy’ returns, Noel Fielding on why mainstream success scares him and what the future holds for 'The Boosh'
Life and Style
Flow chart: Karl Landsteiner discovered blood types in 1900, yet scientists have still not come up with an explanation for their existence
lifeAll of us have one. Yet even now, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Arts and Entertainment
'Weird Al' Yankovic, or Alfred Matthew, at the 2014 Los Angeles Film Festival Screening of
musicHis latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do our experts think he’s missed out?
Sport
New Real Madrid signing James Rodríguez with club president Florentino Perez
sportColombian World Cup star completes £63m move to Spain
Travel
Hotel Tour d’Auvergne in Paris launches pay-what-you-want
travelIt seems fraught with financial risk, but the policy has its benefits
Arts and Entertainment
booksThe best children's books for this summer
Life and Style
News to me: family events were recorded in the personal columns
techFamily events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped that
Caption competition
Caption competition
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

A land of the outright bizarre
What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

The worst kept secret in cinema

A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

The new hatched, matched and dispatched

Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
Why do we have blood types?

Are you my type?

All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

Honesty box hotels

Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit
Commonwealth Games 2014: Why weight of pressure rests easy on Michael Jamieson’s shoulders

Michael Jamieson: Why weight of pressure rests easy on his shoulders

The Scottish swimmer is ready for ‘the biggest race of my life’ at the Commonwealth Games
Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn