The Melbourne Rebels have secured Japan’s powerful No.8 Amanaki Mafi for the next Super Rugby season.
Tongan-born 26-year-old Mafi made four appearances for Japan, including scoring two tries, at the 2015 Rugby World Cup and played a crucial role in the historic 34-32 victory over the Springboks by providing the winning pass.
Melbourne Rebels coach Tony McGahan welcomed the addition of 112kg Mafi to a backrow already featuring hard-hitting Wallaby Sean McMahon.
“Amanaki will compliment our backrow very well through his power game in the contact area, McGahan said.
“As we saw at the World Cup, Amanaki makes his presence felt’ whether he’s starting the game or off the bench.”
Mafi is currently playing with the NTT Communications club in Japan and will join the Rebels squad at the end of the Top League Season.
He has been selected in the All Japan Top League’s Best XV for the last two seasons.
“Super Rugby has been a long term goal and I can’t wait to arrive and test my skills against the world’s best players,” said Mafi.