Samoan star fears the worst

Gloucester centre Eliota Fuimaono-Sapolu believes he has played his last game for the Club. [more]

Samoan star fears the worst

Gloucester centre Eliota Fuimaono-Sapolu believes he has played his last game for the Club.

The Samoan star faces a Rugby Football Union disciplinary panel later today to face three charges related to use of his twitter account.

Fuimaono-Sapolu criticized Owen Farrell after Gloucester’s Aviva Premiership defeat to Saracens the weekend before last and is now in danger of being banned for six months.

The 31-year-old was recently given a suspended sentence by the International Rugby Board for tweets accusing Welsh referee Nigel Owens of bias in Samoa's defeat to South Africa at the recent World Cup.

Fuimaono-Sapolu also caused uproar with his controversial comments regarding the recovery times for tier two nations like Samoa, linking the difference in treatment between the so-called big countries and their smaller counterparts to the Holocaust.

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The judgment in his suspended sentence stated that if he "makes any public criticism which results in a proven misconduct offence regarding a match official, the IRB or the disciplinary process – the suspension will be activated immediately".

And the former Bath midfielder, who is also a qualified lawyer, is convinced that clause will be activated at today’s hearing.

"I do expect to be banned now, I can't see another outcome," Fuimaono-Sapolu, whose deal at Kingsholm runs out at the end of the season, told the Gloucester Citizen.

"Gloucester have been great with me throughout this whole situation, and if it were to come down to a six-month ban, they would not really have much other option than to cancel my contract.

"And I would not stand in their way from that, in fact that would be the right course of action."

Such an outcome would be a huge blow to Gloucester boss Bryan Redpath who has continually stood by Fuimaono-Sapolu throughout the long-running saga.

Redpath remains keen to highlight Fuimaono-Sapolu's achievements on the field but admits he may well have seen the last of him in a Gloucester shirt.

"We can't question Eliota's rugby ability: never have, never will. He's one hell of a player, and I've got a lot of time for him," said Redpath.

"Players' player of the year, sponsors' player of the year, fans' player of the year, try of the year; probably one of the best 12s at the World Cup.

"And what he's given Gloucester, some of the young players alongside him, and some of the senior players too, he is an exceptionally talented rugby player.

"If that was his last game, then he's helped his team win away from home (24-19 at Exeter) where we've never had a really strong record. He's been a key part to that, and but what will be on Monday will be.

"If other things kick in and take that away, they take that away. What he can remember if that's his last game is a win away at Exeter."

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