Rebels' Mafi bailed on team-mate assault charge
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
A police spokeswoman told foxsports.com.au that Timani
received "moderate injuries" in the altercation but did not go to
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.