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Trial date is set for rugby player Amanaki Mafi – as the World Cup's naming weaver

A Japanese rugby player facing serious attacks following a Dunedin incident last year will go to trial in the new year.

Amanaki Mafi, who apologized for his appearance, filed a plea of ​​not guilty on a charge last year for injuring with intent to injure, after allegedly bashing former Melbourne Rebels teammate Lopeti Timani in Dunedin in the early hours of July 15 last year.

In Dunedin court on Wednesday morning, Judge Michael Crosbie called on attorneys to file a lawsuit because of the complainant's and the defendant's sports schedule.

Lopeti Timani (inmate) claimed he had been robbed and bundled into a car in Dunedin after drinking with Amanaki Mafi, who is charged with assault with intent to injure.

HAMIC MCNEILLY / DELIVERED

Lopeti Timani (inmate) claimed he had been robbed and bundled into a car in Dunedin after drinking with Amanaki Mafi, who is charged with assault with intent to injure.

This trial period was to begin on January 27, when he noted that the World Cup is over.

The serious offender attack carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison.

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Amanaki Mafi, right, in the colors of his former team, the Melbourne Rebels.

GETTY IMAGES

Amanaki Mafi, right, in the colors of his former team, the Melbourne Rebels.

Japan Rugby Football Union (JRFU) has maintained that it would not make a decision on the future of the Mafia until a criminal case in Dunedin was completed.

The Japanese World Cup has not yet been named by former Highlanders coach Jamie Joseph, with Mafi joining several recent internationals.

This season he played for the Tokyo-based Sunwolves side, who will be drawn from Super Rugby after 2020.

Mafi reportedly missed a game on a "visa issue" because of the severe attack requirements hanging over him.

Timani claimed Mafi was behind the alleged attack in two different locations before being bundled into a car in south Dunedin after a late-season celebration went sour.

Timani told Sydney Morning Herald he ran away when the car stopped at traffic lights, and hid in a bush on the roadside until he was sure they had left the area.

Mafi was at that time in advanced negotiations to sign with Melbourne for the 2019 season, while Timani had signed overseas.

Both players were also fined $ 15,000 (NZ $ 15,500) by the rebels for their late-night involvement.

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