4 Oct 2011

Samoa centre Fuimaono banned from all rugby

2:16 pm on 4 October 2011

Samoa rugby centre Eliota Sapolu Fuimaono has been suspended from all rugby after he failed to appear at a judicial hearing in Auckland on Tuesday following criticism of Welsh referee Nigel Owens on the social networking website, Twitter.

Sapolu Fuimaono had labelled Owens biased and a racist after his side's 13-5 World Cup loss to South Africa last week and was ordered to appear at a hearing on Tuesday.

The International Rugby Board said the hearing was adjourned by official, Jeff Blackett, when Sapolu Fuimaono failed to appear and the 30-year-old had been provisionally suspended until he faces the charges.

Sapolu Fuimaono, who plays for the English club Gloucester, had said in his expletive-laden tirade last week that he'd retired from international rugby after Samoa failed to qualify for the quarter-finals.