Melbourne Rebels players Hunter Paisami and Pone Faamausili have been stood down after allegedly assaulting this man, his sister has claimed on Facebook. Picture: Facebook
Melbourne Rebels players Hunter Paisami and Pone Faamausili have been stood down after allegedly assaulting this man, his sister has claimed on Facebook. Picture: Facebook

Rebels suspend stars over alleged coward punch

THE Melbourne Rebels have stood down two of their most promising young players after they admitted being present at a late-night altercation that led to accusations a man had to be revived and taken to hospital after being punched in the head.

Coming just a week after the team's giant backrower Amanaki Mafi was charged with assaulting his teammate Lopeti Timani after a boozy night in New Zealand, the Rebels confirmed they had suspended Pone Faamausili and Hunter Paisami indefinitely while the incident was investigated by police.

The players admitted they were present at an altercation outside a nightclub in the Melbourne CBD in the early hours of Sunday morning but rugby officials said they could not provide any more details because the matter was under police investigation.

A Rebels spokesman said that Faamausili had already provided a statement to Victorian police and Paisami planned to speak to investigators in coming days. Neither player has been charged.

 

"The allegations were brought to our attention after they were posted on social media," the spokesman said.

Melbourne Rebels player Hunter Paisami has been stood down while the incident is investigated. Picture: AAP
Melbourne Rebels player Hunter Paisami has been stood down while the incident is investigated. Picture: AAP

"In light of other events over the last sevens days, we treat every incident seriously, so we've taken the step to indefinitely suspend the players while an investigation takes place.

"Both players have been fully co-operating with police since the allegations surfaced but no charges have been made."

A woman, claiming to be the victim's sister, posted a graphic account of the alleged attack on her Facebook page.

She said her brother had been punched in the head, knocking him to the ground and causing him to bleed.

She said her brother lost consciousness and had to be revived at the scene. Her post included a picture of a man with bruises on his face lying in a hospital bed.

The alleged victim also posted a note on social media but made no reference to the Rebels players, saying simply: "Yeah thanks for the king hit from behind, real tough"

Lopeti Timani was left with a severely bruised face after being assaulted by teammate Amanaki Mafi.
Lopeti Timani was left with a severely bruised face after being assaulted by teammate Amanaki Mafi.

The allegations are the second involving the Rebels following last week's arrest of Mafi in Dunedin after he and Timani went on a late-night drinking binge that turned nasty in the wake of the team's failure to reach the Super Rugby playoffs.

Timani was left with serious facial injuries while Mafi was charged with intent to injure and released on bail while the case was adjourned until August 3. Both players were each fined $15,000 by the Rebels.

Paisami and Faamausili are both in their rookie seasons with the Rebels and regarded among the best young Victorian players.

Faamausili is a 21-year-old prop who made his Super Rugby debut against the Sunwolves in May and was rewarded with a new two-year contract with the club, taking him through to 2020.

Paisami is yet to make an appearance in Super Rugby but the 20-year-old fullback is part of the extended squad and halfway through a two-year deal.



PHOTOS: Ballina's skate scene is pumping

premium_icon PHOTOS: Ballina's skate scene is pumping

More than 100 skaters competed from all over Australia.

Register your business to be eligible for council work

premium_icon Register your business to be eligible for council work

RVC makes it easier for small and medium business owners

Local Partners