Amanaki Mafi’s alleged assault on Lopeti Timani in Dunedin appears to be the third incident of its kind during his brief professional rugby career.
Mafi was granted bail, after being charged with assaulting his teammate, Timani – who received ‘moderate’ injuries.
Rugby Australia said Mafi was taken into police custody after an altercation with Timani in Dunedin.
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 case will come before the courts again on August 3, although Mafi was excused from having to appear personally on that date.
?@telegraph_sport? backpage splashing with the horrific injuries suffered by ?@MelbourneRebels? star Lopeti Timani after allegedly being attacked by ?@SuperRugby? teammate Amanaki Mafi last weekend. https://t.co/OWM1KXzUNA pic.twitter.com/mY6PXipBi8
— Tim Morrissey (@timmorrissey) July 17, 2018
Under the Rebels’ disciplinary protocol, each player has been fined the maximum AU$15,000.
“Notwithstanding that both Amanaki Mafi and Lopeti Timani were finishing at the Rebels this season and heading overseas to continue their playing careers, it is only appropriate, given the seriousness of the incident, to sanction both players with a significant fine,” Rebels Chief Executive Officer, Baden Stephenson. said.
“Along with the Rebels Board, coach David Wessels and club management, we have strived this year to re-build a culture which values respect and excellence in everything we do.
“The actions of these two players is totally contrary to our franchise’s values and has tarnished the excellent work of so many in the club, both on and off the field this season.
“I only hope that both Amanaki and Lopeti genuinely reflect on and learn from this very troubling incident.
“The franchise has supported both players over recent days and will continue to ensure their well being now and into the future.”
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However, more incidents are coming to light regarding Mafi’s behaviour.
Mafi left Bath after a confrontation with a physio at the club in 2016. At the time Bath said Mafi was leaving the club early by “mutual agreement”. It however emerged that Mafi and the physio had an altercation after a disagreement over an appointment.
It has also now transpired that Mafi had an altercation with Rebels and Wallaby teammate Marika Koroibete in Cape Town early this year. The incident was said to have been dealt with in-house.
Regarding the latest incident, legal proceedings will be followed by possible sanctions by Rugby Australia, who are conducting their own investigation.
The AU$30,000 in fines will be donated to the Rugby Victoria Quilt program – an education and participation program designed to use Rugby as the vehicle to prevent domestic violence, create inclusive sport and recreation environments to ensure that both women and children are not only safe, but respected and treated as equals.
Mafi now faces the prospect of being released from his Japanese Top League – NTT Shining Arcs. Japanese sides are known to take a very dim view of any criminal incidents – whether convictions are secured or not.
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