Rebels' Mafi bailed on team-mate assault charge

    2018-07-16 12:24

    Wellington - Melbourne Rebels forward Amanaki Mafi was granted bail after being charged with assaulting team-mate Lopeti Timani, reports said on Monday. 

    Rugby Australia said Mafi was taken into police custody after an altercation with Timani following the Rebels' 43-37 Super Rugby loss to Highlanders in Dunedin, New Zealand on Saturday. 

    The 28-year-old appeared in Dunedin District Court on Monday charged with assault with intent to injure, an offence that carries a potential jail term of five years. 

    The Otago Daily Times reported that Mafi did not enter a plea as he was granted bail to one address in Melbourne for the next two months, then another in Japan for the following three months. 

    The case will come before the courts again on August 3, although Mafi was excused from having to appear personally on that date. 

    News footage showed the player and Rebels' team director Tony Thorpe leaving the courthouse and refusing to comment to waiting reporters. 

    A police spokeswoman told that Timani received "moderate injuries" in the altercation but did not go to hospital. 

    Mafi represented Tonga at the 2009 Under-20 World Cup in Japan and was selected for the Japanese national side in 2014 after moving to the Asian country. 

    The powerful No 8 played in the 2015 World Cup in England including Japan's memorable 34-32 upset of South Africa in Brighton.

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