Ruck and Maul: Busy Blackett suspends judgement over Fuimaono-Sapolu tweets

Jeff Blackett has had a busy week. The Rugby Football Union disciplinary officer and Judge Advocate General was with David Cameron in Downing Street on Wednesday generating support for yesterday's Help for Heroes fund-raising match.

Blackett also appeared in print voicing his views on Charles Flint QC's report, which concluded that the RFU chairman Martyn Thomas had no disrepute case to answer for his actions in the sacking of the Union's chief executive John Steele last summer.

Ruck and Maul understands Blackett has yet to decide if Eliota Fuimaono-Sapolu's recent three-week RFU suspension for his Twitter antics will trigger the six-month suspended sentence given to the Samoan by Blackett during the Rugby World Cup. This despite Fuimaono-Sapolu's club Gloucester making private noises that they believe their star centre will be free to play on.

Robinson tops the pie charts

Less controversially, the Scotland coach Andy Robinson took to Twitter to answer fans' questions and confirmed that Tim Visser, the big Edinburgh wing who is one of the form players of the Pro 12, will be considered immediate by the Scots when he qualifies by residency in June.

Robinson also revealed his love of the cheese and onion pies – "I'm a vegetarian," he explained – available at Brisbane's Suncorp Stadium. He may get a chance to eat some more if he goes back as a Lions coach in 2013.

Was Clive utterly wrong?

In January 1999 Roger Uttley was sacked from his part-time job as England manager in what was described by the RFU as a cost-cutting measure. It left Clive Woodward in charge of the coaching staff who went on to win the 2003 World Cup, in a job specification broadly similar to Martin Johnson's of the last three years.

But now the RFU, advised by the Professional Game Board, have decided Woodward's model was wrong and the current New Zealand and Wales set-ups (with Darren Shand and Alan Phillips as managers) are right. Of course it might be argued that it wasn't Johnson's job specification that was wrong, it was that the wrong man was given it.

Mallett hits the right notes

England have never had a foreign head coach (the closest they got was New Zealander John Mitchell, who took the forwards under Woodward, and Brian Smith, an Aussie, with the attack) and if Nick Mallett lands the job for June's three-Test tour to South Africa, they still won't.

Mallett was born in October 1956 above the music room at Haileybury public school in Hertfordshire, where his English father Anthony was teacher and cricket coach. Six weeks later the family emigrated to Rhodesia, and moved on to Cape Town while Mallett was still a boy.

He returned to England for three years at Oxford University, where he won two rugby Blues.

Slip showing with Euro balls

Stand by for another bout of balls belly-aching, à la Jonny Wilkinson in the World Cup.

An England player who scored a try in the second round of Heineken Cup matches complained he almost lost his grip as he went over the line and that the Adidas ball deployed in Europe is known commonly to be more slippery than the Gilbert one used in Premiership matches.

"But I don't want to say anything about it," pleaded the scorer in question. "This isn't the time to get controversial."

hughgodwin@yahoo.co.uk

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
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

Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

The secret CIA Starbucks

The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

One million Britons using food banks

Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

How to run a restaurant

As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Usher, Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert

The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
10 best tote bags

Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

Paul Scholes column

I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England
Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

The heptathlete has gone from the toast of the nation to being a sleep-deprived mum - but she’s ready to compete again. She just doesn't know how well she'll do...