5 Oct 2011

Sport: Tweeting Samoan stands firm in IRB criticism but SRU distances itself

12:00 pm on 5 October 2011

Manu Samoa centre Eliota Fuimaono Sapolu says he's willing to sacrifice his rugby career to achieve justice for the smaller nations of World Rugby.

The 30 year old was suspended by the International Rugby Board on Monday after failing to appear at a judicial hearing in Auckland.

He'd been summoned to the hearing after labelling Welsh referee Nigel Owens "biased' and a "racist" on social networking website Twitter following his side's 13-5 loss to South Africa.

The Samoa Rugby Union says it's extremely disappointed with Fuimaono Sapolu's actions.

On receiving notification of the charges, the SRU says it made every effort to contact the player, instruct him of the charges, and inform him of the hearing details.

Despite repeated contact attempts, and his appearance on two New Zealand current affairs television shows last night, the Union and Manu Samoa team is still yet to hear from Eliota since the team dispersed at the weekend.

The SRU says Fuimaono Sapolu's comments are not representative of the the Samoa Rugby Union and they're extremely disappointed in the behavious of such a senior player.