16 May 2012

Sport: IRB told Samoa not to select Fuimaono-Sapolu

12:33 pm on 16 May 2012

Manu Samoa coach Stephen Betham says Eliota Fuimaono-Sapolu was overlooked for the national team after the IRB wrote to the Samoa Rugby Union.

Fuimaono-Sapolu took to Twitter to say he was gutted at being overlooked for the 35-man squad and suggested people were tampering with his international career.

The 31 year old was handed a six-month suspended ban during the World Cup for accusing Welsh referee Nigel Owens of bias.

The ban was later extended to nine months suspended following comments he made about Saracens centre Owen Farrell.

The 23-test veteran has been included in the Barbarians squad named to player England, Ireland and Wales later this month but Betham says he was told not to pick him.

"I was given from our CEO that there is a sanction on Eliota from the IRB - this was a couple of weeks ago during selection. I actually just left it out - I didn't want to touch that situation - so I moved on but in saying that all credit to these guys for playing well in the World Cup and I take nothing against him but I'm purely looking at the 2015 World Cup."

Manu Samoa coach Stephen Betham.