Weekend Preview: Gloucester midfield pair hope to make headlines for right reasons

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The Independent Online

A fresh start for Mike Tindall. After his widely-documented travails while on national service in New Zealand, the 31-year-old lines up at inside-centre for Gloucester against Exeter at Sandy Park today, having been on bench duty a week ago. He partners Eliota Fuimaono-Sapolu, whose woes from the World Cup have continued.

The Samoan was yesterday charged by the Rugby Football Union with "conduct prejudicial to the interests of the game" after launching a withering attack on Owen Farrell on Twitter after last Saturday's feisty Aviva Premiership clash at Kingsholm.

Fuimaono-Sapolu has been summoned to appear in front of an RFU disciplinary panel in Bristol on Monday night to answer three specific charges: that he "made, or adopted from other users of Twitter, insulting or provocative comments about Owen Farrell; made ... critical or sarcastic comments about the rugby disciplinary process; and made ... critical comments about the Rugby World Cup and the International Rugby Board."

All this, of course, with Fuimaono- Sapolu already serving a six month suspended ban for comments he posted on his Twitter account during the World Cup.

The in-form Farrell continues his stint at outside-centre as second-placed Saracens seek to maintain their push for the Premiership summit at home to Sale at Vicarage Road tomorrow. The visitors are without injured scrum-half Dwayne Peel but give a first start to No 8 Andy Powell.

Harlequins lead Sarries by four points at the top and take their magnificent seven out of seven record to the Recreation Ground to lay on the line against Bath this afternoon. Conor O'Shea, Quins' director of rugby, has Samoan flanker Maurie Fa'asavalu alongside Nick Easter and Chris Robshaw on in the back row. He also has England scrum-half Danny Care back after injury on the bench.

Leicester start with Martin Castrogiovanni at tighthead prop against London Irish at Welford Road today, the Italian having played a pivotal road off the bench in the Tigers' victory at Sale.