15 Oct 2011

Sport: Tweeting Samoan gets chance to plead his case

9:10 am on 15 October 2011

Manu Samoa centre Eliota Fuimaono Sapolu finally gets the chance to defend himself this morning when he appears in front of an IRB misconduct hearing in Auckland.

The 30 year old is charged with breaching the International Rugby Board's code of conduct for labelling a referee "biased' and a "racist" on Twitter.

Vinnie Wylie reports.

"Two previous hearings had already been scheduled. Fuimaono Sapolu failed to appear at the first hearing and the second was adjourned last week so he could have more time to prepare his case. The Samoa Rugby Union has distanced itself from the midfielder's comments, publicly backing the IRB's stance. It says it is considering banning its players from using social networking sites in future tournaments. The Gloucester midfielder is provisionally suspended from all forms of rugby union until the hearing."