Amanaki Mafi (centre) has also been charged with assault following the incident. Photo: EPA/JOE CASTRO

MELBOURNE, Australia – Melbourne Rebels players Amanaki Mafi and Lopeti Timani have each been fined for breaching team protocols and team management instructions after the Rebels' loss to the Highlanders on Saturday night in Dunedin, New Zealand.

Their conduct led to a physical altercation, which has resulted in Mafi being charged with a criminal offence. His case has been adjourned by the Dunedin District Court until August 3. Under the Rebels Disciplinary Protocol, each player has been fined the maximum $15,000 (R147 773).

Melbourne Rebels Chief Executive Officer, Baden Stephenson said: “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.

“Along with the Rebels Board, Head 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 club'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.

African News Agency (ANA)

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