Eliota Fuimaono-Sapolu is the latest to join the pack of outraged voices in the uproar against the Six Nations Rugby Independent Judicial Committee after their decision to overturn the red card against England’s Owen Farrell for his dangerous tackle against Wales.
The former Manu Samoa player specifically called out the Pacific All Blacks players to "grow a pair" and back the tier two teams using their social media platforms.
The passionate response stems from the committee's decision to not uphold Farrell's red card on Tuesday, making the England skipper available to play in this year's Rugby World Cup. Many have called for the committee to appeal this decision, which has since been revealed to go ahead at the "earliest possible opportunity."
The day the decision was made, Tongan centre George Moala was hit with a 10-week ban for a spear tackle in their warm-up match against Canada.
The red card was given contrary to World Rugby’s Law 9.18: "A player must not lift an opponent off the ground and drop or drive that player so that their head and/or upper body make contact to the ground".
Now, players and fans alike are calling for the decision to be appealed by Six Nations as this is Moala’s first time in front of the committee. Instagram page Pacific Juice has shown clear discrepancies between the two players calling the system “broken”.
Fuimaono-Sapolu has been very strong in calling out our All Blacks to “grow a pair” and be vocal in supporting Pacific teams.
He said: “You Pacific players in the all blacks. If you planning on playing for Samoa, Tonga or Fiji in the future, you better fight for our teams NOW and use your tier 1 platforms to be vocal and help NOW. Don't wait till shit happens to you 5 years from now. Fucking grow a pair already.”
And that is exactly what the Kiwi rugby brotherhood has done.
Former Blues winger Josevata Taliga "Joe" Rokocoko wrote on Instagram: “With the history plus this action and there’s no ban!!! but just imagine if he did something that was 10x worse he would probably get a 3days to 1-week ban. The funny thing is before they came out with this decision I was joking saying watch this it will be only 2-3weeks for him compared to our Pacific boys nek minute they uppercut my worst-case scenario.”
Former All Black Steven Luatua, recently announced in the Manu Samoa squad, wrote to X (formerly known as Twitter): “No Ban? What a joke,” referring to the lack of punishment for Farrell.
Current All Blacks squad members Richie Mounga, Tupou Vaa’i, Shannon Frizell, Ofa Tu'ungafasi, Leicester Fainga'anuku and Rieko Ionae have also jumped into support, sharing their support on their Instagram Stories.
The decision was made today that World Rugby will appeal the decision to overturn Farrell’s red card against Wales.
In a media statement, “World Rugby has today confirmed to the Rugby Football Union and Six Nations Rugby that it will exercise its right to appeal in regard to the Owen Farrell disciplinary decision following a careful review of the independent Judicial Committee's full written decision received on 16 August.”
It continued: “World Rugby fully supports the important role that an independent disciplinary process plays in upholding the integrity and values of the sport, particularly regarding foul play involving head contact. Player welfare is the sport’s number one priority, and the Head Contact Process is central to that mission at the elite level of the sport.”
“Having considered the full written decision, World Rugby considers an appeal to be warranted.”
“In line with provisions set out under Regulation 17, an independent Appeal Committee will be appointed to determine the matter at the earliest possible opportunity,” the statement finished.