Rebels rookie Paisami charged over late-night incident

Super Rugby
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman in Japan

Rebels rookie Hunter Paisami has been charged with affray, over his alleged involvement a late-night incident that left a man hospitalised.

Affray is a charge generally brought by the state and involve fighting in a public place to the extent that it causes those in the vicinity to fear for their safety.

Paisami and teammate Pone Faamausili were both suspended indefinitely by the Rebels in the wake of allegations that surfaced on social media on Sunday, accusing the pair of a coward punch.

The sister of the victim posted a photo of her injured brother, singling out the two Rebels players and accusing them of a punch that allegedly resulted in her brother's injuries.

There have been conflicting accounts of the incident, but after both players provided statements to police, Paisami was charged.

The 20-year-old was bailed on Tuesday and will appear in magistrates court on September 20 over the charges.

Faamausili is not expected to be charged over the incident but could still be called in to provide evidence to the court or police.

Both players will remain suspended until an internal investigation by the Rebels, Rugby Australia, Rugby Victoria and the Rugby Union Players' Association is complete.

Rebels CEO Baden Stephenson said the club was taking the incident 'extremely seriously'.

"I would like to reiterate to our partners, members, supporters, communities and families that the Club is taking this matter extremely seriously," he said in a statement.

"The board, management team and player leadership group are working together to address recent issues and provide a response that ultimately strengthens not only our Club, but also our communities and our code.”

It is the second incident in as many weeks of Rebels players being involved with police after drunken altercations.

Star no. 8 Amanaki Mafi was charged with injuring with intent to injure teammate Lopeti Timani after their final round match in Dunedin, an incident that left Timani reportedly fearing for his life.

Faamausili made his debut for the Rebels earlier this year and recently re-signed until 2020, while Paisami has not made an appearance for the Rebels.