TEAM NEWS: Mafi named for Super Rugby return

Super Rugby
by Emma Greenwood

Former Rebels forward Amanaki Mafi has been named by the Sunwolves to face the Reds on Saturday, ending his Super Rugby exile.

Mafi still faces serious assault charges stemming from an alleged altercation with then-Rebels teammate Lopeti Timani in Dunedin last year, with the matter still before the court.

While initially banned from training with his Japanese Top League club, Mafi was added to the Sunwolves' roster last week and, as expected, was named to face the Reds in their round five clash in Tokyo.

Amanaki Mafi will play at no. 8 for the Brave Blossoms. Photo: Getty ImagesMafi has been named on the bench and is expected to see game time against the Reds in their crucial Australian conference clash.

The No.8 was added to the Brave Blossoms' extended training squad earlier this month and his first appearance for the Sunwolves this season will only strengthen his claims for a World Cup spot.

Mafi's legal team is reportedly seeking a stay until after the World Cup to allow him to compete.

At his best, Mafi is a pivotal player for Japan and will be out to make his mark this weekend against a Reds side without Wallabies duo Izack Rodda and Taniela Tupou.

Once Super Rugby easybeats, the Sunwolves have performed beyond expectations this season and have been installed as favourites by bookmakers for Saturday's clash.

The Sunwolves take on the Queensland Reds on Saturday, March 16, kicking off at 3:15pm AEDT, LIVE on FOX SPORTS and via RUGBY.com.au RADIO.

TEAM

Sunwolves to face Reds

1. Pauliasi Manu

2. Atsushi Sakate

3. Hiroshi Yamashita

4. Uwe Helu

5. Tom Rowe

6. Ben Gunter

7. Dan Pryor

8. Rahboni Warren Vosayaco

9. Jamie Booth

10. Hayden Parker

11. Hosea Saumaki

12. Michael Little(C)

13. Sione Teaupa

14. Gerhard Van Den Heever

15. Jason Emery

16. Jaba Bregvadze

17. Sam Prattley

18. Asaeli Ai Valu

19. James Moore

20. Amanaki Mafi

21. Keisuke Uchida

22. Rikiya Matsuda

23. Semisi Masirewa