Mafi arrested for assaulting Rebels teammate

Melbourne Rebels’ Amanaki Mafi released on bail after alleged assault Melbourne Rebels player Amanaki Mafi appears in court

Japan global rugby player Amanaki Lelei Mafi was released on bail Monday after appearing in court in Dunedin, New Zealand, charged with assaulting one of his Melbourne Rebels teammates, according to local media.

Mafi's appearance on that date was excused.

Court documents showed his occupation as "professional sportsman", with his address in central Melbourne.

Mafi appeared before Justice of the Peace Robert Montgomery in the Dunedin District Court Monday.

Rugby Australia and the Rebels confirmed that Japan worldwide Mafi was in police custody following an incident in Dunedin after a 43-37 defeat to the Highlanders on Saturday.

He is understood to be returning to Melbourne this week.

Police indicated they were initially going to seek a ban on alcohol as a condition of bail, but were satisfied the non-association order would suffice.

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

Rugby Australia and the Rebels issued a joint statement confirming they knew of the alleged incident yesterday.

A police spokeswoman told the Otago Daily Times at the weekend, the charges stemmed from an episode in South Dunedin on Saturday night. "He did not require hospitalisation".

"We will respect the process and won't be making further comments until all investigations have taken place".

Mafi, 28, represented Tonga at the 2009 Under-20 World Cup in Japan, and after moving there was selected for the Japanese national side in 2014.

He was signed by English club Bath but left under a cloud in May 2016 after what the Bath Chronicle reported was an altercation with the club's head of sports medicine.


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