Rebels rugby star in custody

Melbourne Rebels star and Japan international Amanaki Mafi (right), pictured here after his sides...
Melbourne Rebels star and Japan international Amanaki Mafi (right), pictured here after his sides' loss to the Highlanders on Saturday. Photo: Getty Images
A Melbourne Rebels rugby player is in police custody in Dunedin following an alleged assault.

Amanaki Mafi, also a Japanese international who is from Tonga, will face charges following an alleged assault on team-mate Lopeti Timani.

Timani came to Australia from Tonga aged 18 and has represented Australia.

The incident followed the Rebels' 43-37 loss to the Highlanders at Forsyth Barr Stadium on Saturday night.

The loss meant the Rebels missed out on making the Super Rugby playoffs.

Asked about the issue, a police spokeswoman told the Otago Daily Times a 28-year-old man had been charged with injuring with intent to injure following an alleged assault in South Dunedin on Saturday night.

Lopeti Timani (right) during a Rebels training session. Photo: Getty Images
Lopeti Timani (right) during a Rebels training session. Photo: Getty Images
The man was due to appear in the Dunedin District Court today.

The alleged victim, also a 28-year-old man, received moderate injuries in the incident. He did not need to be admitted to hospital.

As the matter was before the court police were unable to comment further, the spokeswoman said.

Rugby Australia and the Rebels issued a joint statement confirming the incident yesterday.

It said they were aware of an incident involving Mafi and Timani in Dunedin.

It said both players remained in New Zealand.

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