Fuimaono-Sapolu relishing club return
October 17, 2011
Fuimaono-Sapolu will be back in his club colours imminently © Getty Images
Gloucester's controversial centre Eliota Fuimaono-Sapolu has revealed he had to agree to a compromise to allow him to turn out for the Cherry and Whites after receiving a six-month suspended sentence from the IRB.
Reports suggest that the IRB were ready to hit the Samoan centre with an unconditional six-month ban but after agreeing to pay a fine of NZ$1,000, the six-month sanction was altered to a suspended sentence. And Fuimaono-Sapolu will have to toe the disciplinary tightrope if he is to dodge the six-month penalty in the future.
He will have to satisfy four conditions as a result of the hearing - an apology to referee Nigel Owens, undertaking a referee course, partaking in 100 hours rugby community work in Samoa and refraining from any future misconduct.
With this in mind, Fuimaono-Sapolu is relishing the chance to return to Kingsholm and playing an active part in the rest of their season. "I had to agree to a compromise to ensure I could be back at Gloucester," he told the Gloucester Citizen. "It made me feel like I didn't want to play rugby anymore, but that was frustration coming through really.
"I still feel I can serve the Samoan people through rugby, and I can't wait be back at Gloucester, to get back to what's an important job there."
Gloucester boss Bryan Redpath is set to welcome back Fuimaono-Sapolu alongside fellow centre Mike Tindall and he is relishing the chance to see his World Cup charges back in their Cherry and White shirts.
"All seven World Cup players will be in line for selection next weekend," Redpath said. "Eli is on a plane at the end of the weekend, and he'll be back in the early part of the week.
"He'll be back at the club and we'll take part of it from there, but he'll be in contention for selection with the other World Cup players. He needs to get back to playing and enjoying rugby, and we expect him to do that.
"I haven't spoken to him personally, I've left him a message and sent him a text explaining exactly what I expect of him, and I'm confident he'll understand and appreciate that."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Huw Richards assesses where Wales are after a mixed Six Nations, with front row seats still very much available for the World Cup
John Mitchell lapped up the action on 'Sensational Saturday' - but warns not to expect a repeat come Rugby World Cup time later this year
Craig Dowd warns England, Ireland and Wales they should play to their strengths rather than those of the All Blacks and the Wallabies
Tom Hamilton runs the rule over just where the six countries stand ahead of the global gathering in September