Melbourne Rebels’ Amanaki Mafi released on bail after alleged assault

Melbourne Rebels’ Amanaki Mafi released on bail after alleged assault

While police didn't name Mafi, Rugby Australia had earlier confirmed the Tongan-born Japanese worldwide loose forward was being held in police custody.

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

Melbourne Rebels forward Amanaki Mafi was granted bail after being charged with assaulting teammate Lopeti Timani, reports said Monday.

The 28-year-old former Japan test player was charged with assaulting Timani with intent to injure, an offense which carries a maxium penalty of five years in jail.

Mafi's appearance for that court date has been excused.

The incident occurred overnight that ended their hopes of a maiden Super Rugby playoff place.

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Timani, who has 12 caps for Australia, was not hospitalized but is reported to have received "moderate injuries".

Mafi is expected to return to Melbourne on Tuesday.

News footage showed the player and Rebels' team director Tony Thorpe leaving the courthouse and refusing to comment to waiting reporters. "He did not require hospitalisation".

Rugby Australia and the Rebels issued a joint statement acknowledging the incident and said they will wait for the results of the investigation before commenting further.

Mafi signed on with the Rebels in 2016 and played for Japan in the 2015 Rugby World Cup.

Melbourne Rebels chief executive Baden Stephenson said: "I am bitterly disappointed that an incident has occurred at the end of a season where we have taken pride in our on and off-field behaviour".

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