Ruck and Maul: Tindall gets goodbye to Gloucester but Fuimaono-Sapolu has gone

 

Mike Tindall will follow his debut for the Barbarians at Twickenham today with an appearance against an Ireland XV on Tuesday night at Gloucester, in what will be his farewell to Kingsholm after eight years with the host club.

There was to have been a similar wave goodbye by Tindall's fellow Gloucester departee Eliota Fuimaono-Sapolu, but it has not worked out like that for the Samoa centre who has been playing under a suspended sentence for his controversial remarks on Twitter.

In a bizarre round of accusation and retraction, Sapolu's plan to turn out for the Baa-Baas then play in the Pacific Nations Cup in Japan went west, or east. The Samoa Rugby Union (SRU), which is riven by arguments between professional players and an amateur hierarchy, announced they had dropped Sapolu under advice from the International Rugby Board. The IRB quickly said that was nonsense and the SRU retracted the statement but Sapolu is travelling instead to link up with his new club, West Red Sparks... in Japan.

Welsh to fight promotion decision

London Welsh are waiting for the detail of why the Rugby Football Union board and their independent auditors ruled that the club had failed to meet the minimum standards criteria (MSC) for promotion to the Aviva Premiership, but they are almost certain to appeal and may take legal action too.

The Exiles are odds on to win the Championship final in the second leg against Cornish Pirates on Wednesday; they have been supported by QCs offering to represent them for free, by blustering rants in national newspapers and by an early day motion tabled by the Harrow West MP, Gareth Thomas, in the Commons on Thursday.

Unlike one or two of those newspapers, Thomas has been seen at several matches this season at the pretty ground in Old Deer Park that the Exiles planned to forsake for the Kassam Stadium in Oxford, as revealed in these pages three weeks ago.

The Welsh submitted that plan after the 31 March deadline for the audit, but they say the RFU conceded the "deadline" was more a guideline. And in any case the 60 pages of MSC documentation leave ample opportunity for queries. One stipulation is a back-up stadium within 30 miles of the principal one: Welsh's at Brentford FC is 55 miles from the Kassam but they have come up with a rugby ground below Championship level that is closer. The Welsh say no Premiership club has needed a back-up ground in the past couple of seasons. They are holding fire on recruitment, with six or seven places in their squad vacant, until they know the calibre of player required: Premiership or Championship.

Players union is in good heart

The Rugby Players' Association (RPA) Awards dinner in London on Wednesday was to the eyes of guests unfamiliar with the sport a cavalcade of the unfortunate: tales of suicide and depression here, a former Premiership player in a wheelchair there. The RPA made the point that their benevolent fund needs supporting.

Thankfully there were plenty of upbeat notes too, not least when the room rose to Alex Bennett's efforts to get walking again after a neck injury, and the support of his wife, Antonia, in doing so. One danger faced by athletes in every sport is sudden cardiac failure, as suffered by the footballer Fabrice Muamba in March.

The RPA, RFU and Premiership Rugby are in the second year of cardiac screening all Premiership and academy players aged 16 to 35 and more than 800 have taken part. One was found to have a potentially life-threatening problem that has been treated to enable him to play on.

Meanwhile Alex Murphy, the RFU Council Member for Notts, Lincs & Derbyshire, is campaigning for a defibrillator to be installed at every rugby club.

hughgodwin@yahoo.co.uk

Voices
Homeless Veterans charity auction: Cook with Angela Hartnett and Neil Borthwick at Merchants Tavern
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm tomorrow
Arts and Entertainment
J Jefferson Farjeon at home in 1953
booksBooksellers say readers are turning away from modern thrillers and back to golden age of crime writing
Sport
Amir Khan is engaged in a broader battle than attempting to win a fight with Floyd Mayweather
boxing Exclusive: Amir Khan reveals plans to travel to Pakistan
News
Stacey Dooley was the only woman to be nominated in last month’s Grierson awards
mediaClare Balding and Davina McCall among those overlooked for Grierson awards
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Voices
Joseph Kynaston Reeves arguing with Russell Brand outside the RBS’s London offices on Friday
voicesDJ Taylor: The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a worker's rant to Russell Brand
News
Twitchers see things differently, depending on their gender
scienceNew study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Caroline Flack became the tenth winner of Strictly Come Dancing
tvReview: 'Absolutely phenomenal' Xtra Factor presenter wins Strictly Come Dancing final
Life and Style
A still from the 1939 film version of Margaret Mitchell's 'Gone with the Wind'
life
News
Xander van der Burgt, at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
scienceA Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
film
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

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

Marian Keyes

The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick