Rebels' Amanaki Mafi arrested for allegedly assaulting Super Rugby team-mate

Amanaki Mafi (left) of Melbourne Rebels passes the ball during the Melbourne Rebels vs Queensland Reds in the Vodafone Super Rugby at AMMI Park, Melbourne, Australia on 23 February 2018.

Melbourne Rebels forward Amanaki Mafi was arrested and faces assault charges after an altercation with teammate Lopeti Timani in New Zealand, Rugby Australia said on Sunday.

Mafi, represented by his lawyer Anne Stevens, appeared before Justice of the Peace Robert Montgomery in the Dunedin District Court on Monday morning.

The 28-year-old has been charged with injuring with intent to injure, which carries a maximum sentence of five years' jail.

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

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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. As a condition of his bail he is ordered not to associate with Timani and police did not oppose bail conditions.

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.

The incident came after the team's season-ending loss to the Highlanders on Saturday.

His case has been adjourned till August 3, but he won't be required to attend in person.

"The alleged victim. received moderate injuries following the incident". Timani is set to head to France and join Top 14 side La Rochelle next season, while Japanese worldwide Mafi has been linked with a move to the Sunwolves.

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