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Gloucester Rugby sign Eliota Fuimaono-Sapolu

By This is Gloucestershire  |  Posted: May 14, 2009

Eliota Fuimaono-Sapolu has joined Gloucester Rugby for next season

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Gloucester Rugby have signed Samoan international Eliota Fuimaono-Sapolu.

Fuimaono-Sapolu has spent the past three and a half seasons at Bath Rugby, after originally arriving at the Rec in January 2006 on a short term deal.

"I've played at Kingsholm as a visiting player and it's a great atmosphere," said the 28-year-old.

"I'm really looking forward to playing in front of that support every other week.

"I've enjoyed my time at Bath but it's a fantastic set up at Gloucester and I can't wait for the new season to start."

Eliota is a qualified solicitor and represented New Zealand Universities whilst studying in Auckland. He made his international debut against Scotland in 2005 and caught the eye with exceptional performances against England and Argentina.

He usually plays at outside centre but can also play as a fly-half and started all Samoa's matches in the 2007 Rugby World Cup in the number ten shirt, including a Man of the Match performance against the USA.

Head Coach Dean Ryan said: "Eliota is going to be a valuable addition to the Gloucester Rugby squad.

"He is an international class centre with valuable experience of playing in the Guinness Premiership.

"We've been looking to increase our physicality across the team and Eliota will bring that to the side. But, he's also possesses good speed and has quick hands so brings other things to the table."

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    ATB, Nam  |  May 16 2009, 6:52PM

    Spot on jonnyboy71. So far we have signed Bath and Leicester cast offs plus Voyce from Wasps who was also presumably deemed surplus to requirements. Robinson is an exciting signing, but otherwise so much for investing in the future.

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    Dawn, East Sussex  |  May 16 2009, 9:30AM

    Everyone is entitled to their opinions but isn't it time we got over the disappointment of last season, which is now in the past and we can't do anything to change it. We have to look to the future of the club and the new signings, lets give them the chance to at least play a game for Gloucester before the critisism starts. I wonder how many of the team read these messages, how can they be inspired by fans when most of the comments on these pages are so negative.

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    mike, gloucester  |  May 14 2009, 7:22PM

    Is this the guy that played outside centre for Bath this season at Kingsholm. I think he might have done, but I had him as more 5ft 9" than the 6ft 1" the Bath website has him as. If it was him then he did look a threat all afternoon with his little jinking sidesteps. He made things happen.

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    Tom, Stroud  |  May 14 2009, 6:43PM

    This guy isn¿t much like the legend of Fanolua and definitely won¿t bring the passion he did. Yet another wasteful signing from Dean Ryan its looking more and more like he isn¿t going to go and if he does he may of left the new coach with allot of aging signings that most coaches wouldn¿t wont if they are planning to rebuild. Walkinson help us out here and tell us if Dean Ryan¿s staying or going.

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    jonnyboy71, Stedham, West Sussex  |  May 14 2009, 4:10PM

    Fuimaono-Sapolu got pushed out of Barf but Shontayne Hape. Seru Rabeni got pushed out of Leicester by Aaron Mauger and, now, our own Anthony Allen. All we need now is Ayoola Erinle and we'll have the full set. I wouldn't even be surprised if Phil de Glanville is next on the shopping list. Can we stop buying other clubs' old, unwanted backs?

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    anon, glos  |  May 14 2009, 1:44PM

    He may be someone to replace the passion fanolua brought to the centre shirt.

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    Drunken Monkey, Ankh Morpork  |  May 14 2009, 1:05PM

    Well, this is incredibly ominous. Yet another "Dean Ryan" signing: big Pacific Islander to play in the backs with no signings for the forwards (where we really need them). I think that this basically tells us that Dean Ryan WILL still have his job next season, Gloucester are going to be trying to become a rugby league-esque team with very little forward based play but "crash bangers" bringing our possession over the gameline by running into the opposition backs. Can someone please explain to Dean Ryan that you need the forwards to WIN the ball first? Wonderful. I can hardly suppress my excitement.