Amanaki Mafi

Melbourne Rebels star Amanaki Mafi arrested in New Zealand

Loose forward Mafi will appear in Dunedin District Court on Monday, charged with injuring with intent to injure in an incident in South Dunedin.    

It's a dismal postscript to the Rebels' bold, but unsuccessful attempt to secure a Super Rugby finals berth, when they lost 43-37 to the Highlanders on Saturday.    

While police didn't name Mafi, Rugby Australia had earlier confirmed the Tongan-born Japanese international loose forward was being held in police custody.    

Mafi puts pen to paper for 2018

It has long been rumoured that Mafi was set to extend his stay in Melbourne but confirmation from the club today is an enormous boost for the Rebels.

The 27-year-old was a standout in every game he played this season.

He put the Rebels on his back all season long with destructive ball carries, abrasive defence and an innate ability to find holes in the defensive line.

He was voted the Players' Player at the club's awards night last month - a fitting end to a superb debut season.

Mafi crowned Rebels Players' Player

There was never any doubt as to who would win this award, such is the standard of Mafi's form this season.

He has led from the front with barnstorming carries, bone rattling hits and an unparalleled work rate.

In a remarkable debut season, he led all Super Rugby players in carries (184), has had more run metres (1378m) and offloads (30) than any other forward and ranked second in the competition for tackle busts (48).

That stat line alone begs belief but it's the passion and determination that he plays with that inspires his peers.