Japan international Amanaki Mafi fined for assault on teammate Lopeti Timani

Amanaki Mafi was fined after he pled guilty to assaulting former team mate Lopeti Timani. Photo by Richard Heathcote - World Rugby/World Rugby via Getty Images

Japan loose forward Amanaki Mafi has been discharged without conviction but ordered to pay $50,000 after he pled guilty to assaulting former team mate Lopeti Timani in New Zealand in 2018.

Mafi, 29, was not present in court in Dunedin and entered a guilty plea to the one charge of assault with intent to injure through his lawyer.

The trial had been previously postponed until next month to allow for the completion of the Rugby World Cup.

Mafi and Timani grew up together in Tonga and previously played together at the Melbourne Rebels.

The Otago Daily Times reported the assault happened after the pair spent the night drinking together following the Rebels' 43-37 loss against the Otago Highlanders at Forsyth Barr Stadium.

The court heard the fight broke out after Mafi objected to language that Timani had used in front of a female relative.

Those present in the house pulled the two apart before Timani ran outside and hid in bushes nearby. However, Mafi followed Timani and continued to punch him.

In a victim impact statement read to the court Timani said he experienced concussion symptoms for about six months.

Judge John Macdonald said the assault had been "moderately serious" but accepted evidence from Mafi's defence lawyer, which was agreed to by the prosecution, that a conviction would likely see his playing contract in Japan torn up, the report said.

Macdonald ordered Mafi to pay the $50,000 directly to Timani within a week. Both Mafi and Timani were also fined $15,000 by the Rebels following the incident and left the club after the 2018 season.