LIVE

    Japan's Mafi re-signing boosts Rebels

    2017-08-09 09:50

    Melbourne - Highly rated Japanese international Amanaki Mafi has opted to stay with the Melbourne Rebels for next season, the club said on Wednesday, in an apparent boost for the Super Rugby franchise which is threatened with closure.

    The powerful back-row forward, who is in the running as Australia's Super Rugby player of the year, agreed to a one-year extension to remain with the Rebels for a second season.

    Either the Melbourne Rebels or the Perth-based Western Force are facing the axe after Australia announced plans to cut one of its teams from Super Rugby, which is shrinking from 18 to 15 sides next year.

    Mafi's re-signing follows last week's announcement that the Victorian Rugby Union has assumed control of the Rebels' licence, in a move aimed at securing the club's future.

    Mafi, 27, had an outstanding debut season for the Rebels and proved one of the best forwards among the five Australian teams.

    "We're thrilled that fan favourite Amanaki has chosen to remain with the Rebels in Melbourne for another year after a standout first Super Rugby season generated plenty of interest," Rebels CEO Baden Stephenson said.

    "Amanaki was the most dominant forward in the Australian conference and quickly established himself as a highly respected member of the Rebels squad with his consistent hard running and physical presence in the back row."

    Mafi has represented Japan on 16 occasions, including in the three-Test series against Romania and Ireland in June.

    "It was an easy decision to re-sign with the Rebels, since I've arrived everyone has made me feel welcome," Mafi said.

    "I'm looking forward to next year because there is more I want to achieve with the club and we've got some great young players so I think the Rebels will have a great season."

    What To Read Next

    Read News24’s Comments Policy

    Live Video Streaming
    Video Highlights
    Sport Talk

    Results

    05 August 2017
    29 July 2017
    22 July 2017
    21 July 2017
    15 July 2017
    14 July 2017
    08 July 2017
    07 July 2017
    01 July 2017
    30 June 2017
    09 June 2017
    03 June 2017
    02 June 2017
    28 May 2017
    27 May 2017
    26 May 2017
    21 May 2017
    20 May 2017
    19 May 2017
    13 May 2017
    12 May 2017
    06 May 2017
    05 May 2017
    30 April 2017
    29 April 2017
    28 April 2017
    22 April 2017
    21 April 2017
    15 April 2017
    14 April 2017
    09 April 2017
    08 April 2017
    07 April 2017
    02 April 2017
    01 April 2017
    31 March 2017
    25 March 2017
    24 March 2017
    18 March 2017
    17 March 2017
    11 March 2017
    10 March 2017
    04 March 2017
    03 March 2017
    02 March 2017
    25 February 2017
    24 February 2017
    23 February 2017

    Logs

    Rank Team P W Pts

    Opinion Poll

    The 2017 Super Rugby tournament has reached its quarter-final stage. When all is said and done, who emerges victorious?

    The ultimate Super Rugby quiz!

    TAKE THE QUIZ
    There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.