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Gloucester Rugby: No ban despite Eliota's 'venting' on Twitter

By This is Gloucestershire  |  Posted: May 17, 2011

  • Gloucester Rugby: Eliota Fuimaono-Sapolu

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GLOUCESTER will not impose a Twitter ban in light of Eliota Fuimaono-Sapolu venting Saracens defeat frustrations on the social networking site.

Disappointed Samoan centre Fuimaono-Sapolu let off his play-off semi-final defeat steam via a number of tweets, resulting in national media speculation he could face RFU censure.

No rugby player has yet been fined or reprimanded for Twitter use by England's governing body and Gloucester are not taking a hard-line view of the 30-year-old's messages.

Kingsholm bosses do not consider Twitter messages as necessarily a reflection of club policy or opinion, and therefore have not intervened in the issue.

Gloucester's players who use Twitter do not consider it an official communication channel, but wider opinion on the site's impact differs.

Fuimaono-Sapolu backed up that Gloucester squad position with a clarifying message after the national media reaction yesterday, explaining: "Twitter is a laugh for us but it seems to be taken so seriously by greater public. We're not under oath on Twitter."

In addition to that, he also qualified earlier statements with: "At the end of the day we lost. I'm just venting in tweets."

The former Bath playmaker's frustrations were clearly outlined in his initial post, which read: "I would say the referee was a joke but I'd probably get fined for it so I won't."

He followed that up with a message that gave grudging respect to Saracens' victory: "Fair play Sarries. We score 20 more tries than them and the only try in the semi. Horribly boring but very clinical. Fair play."

Maverick creator Fuimaono-Sapolu could not hide his annoyance that Gloucester never found their fluid best at Vicarage Road on Sunday, in falling to 12-10 defeat.

Another message read: "We scored two tries. One disallowed. No wonder my super15 friends are making jokes about northern hemisphere rugby. Boring Rugby wins."

Cracking a joke about Saracens' high-ball tactics did not strike the right tone with all Twitter users though, as he posted: "Farrell put more bombs on us than the US did on Osama Bin Laden. #genocide."

Fuimaono-Sapolu has long since been an outspoken Twitter user, but his forthright views have been celebrated across these pages and online all season.

Frustration might have got the better of him on this occasion, but Gloucester are not about to overreact and stop their players expressing themselves on the website.

The colour and insight the midfielder offers on a regular basis is relished by Gloucester and rugby fans, and these messages have not been considered worthy of deep attention by the club.

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    Emma, Gloucester  |  May 17 2011, 10:06AM

    So what if Eli has an opinion, he is only saying what alot of people are to scared to say because of it being printed int he tabloids, about time somebody spoke up, Eli is a very passionate player and will tell you exactly what he thinks, leave him be, he's doing no harm, if people don't like what he says then don't follow him on Twitter!

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    Peter, Gloucester  |  May 17 2011, 7:16AM

    A fuss about nothing. Many a commentator has said that Saracens play a boring style of rugby. See the pages of the Citizen for examples. The fact is, if Eli's comments had been made in an interview with the Daily Mail, there would have been no "outrage".