Just months after he was allegedly the victim of a vicious assault at the hands of his Melbourne Rebels teammate Amanaki Mafi in July, luckless Lopeti Timani has been hit by horrific injury which will sideline him for a lengthy period.
Timani, who moved to France to play for Top 14 side La Rochelle, ruptured his knee ligaments in last weekend’s European Challenge Cup thrashing of Russian club Enisei 82-21 in Krasnoyarsk.
It’s now been confirmed that the unfortunate Timani is expected to be out of action for at least 6 months after French club doctors assessed his injury on Tuesday following the team’s return from the match in Siberia
The 27-year-old who has 12 caps for the Wallabies, was one of La Rochelle’s high-profile summer signings. It’s a blow to new Director of Rugby Jonno Gibbes, who is due to take the reigns in mid-November. The club have had a mixed season so far with four wins and three defeats from their seven Top 14 matches, languishing in mid-table.
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For 123kg Timani, who also had a spell at the Waratahs, it caps a miserable 2018. He hit the headlines in July sporting two black eyes following the alleged assault by Mafi in Dunedin in the aftermath of the Rebels Super Rugby defeat to the Highlanders.
?@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
It’s reported that the incident happened after Timani swore in front of Mafi’s sister, at a family gathering.
Timani told media that he thought he feared for his life during the alleged altercation.
The Rebels handed down ‘financial sanctions’ to the both players for breaching team protocols and team management instructions, with each player has been fined the maximum AU$15,000.
Mafi, a Japan international, has since left the Rebels to play for Top League club NTT Shining Arcs.
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