The Western Force have parted ways with star winger Alfie Mafi citing a number of disciplinary breaches by the 24-year-old at the Perth-based Super Rugby franchise.
Mafi thrust himself into Wallabies calculations earlier this year when scoring five tries from his first six games of the season.
But wayward off-field behaviour has cost him his place in the squad, with the Force releasing Mafi on Sunday due to “a number of infringements of team standards and disciplinary indiscretions”.
RugbyWA chief executive Mark Sinderberry said the Force’s strong focus on its standards meant it was the right decision to release Mafi.
“Despite Alfie’s standing as one of the competition’s leading try-scorers, we will remain an organisation that is strongly committed to upholding its values and standards,” Sinderberry said.
Mafi was initially made unavailable for selection against the Brumbies last round due to a breach of internal standards.
The Force won’t reveal the exact nature of that breach, but said it didn’t involve any untoward behaviour towards the public or public property.
Mafi is now expected to take up a lucrative offer to play rugby in Japan, but it’s unclear whether his early split from the Force will affect a rumoured deal with Honda Heat.
Mafi played nine games for the Waratahs and seven for the Brumbies before joining the Force, where he notched a further 38 caps over the past three years.
Mafi’s departure will put more pressure on Wallabies winger Nick Cummins to stay on the park.
Cummins made a successful return from a knee injury in Saturday night’s 11-11 draw with Queensland Reds, while Pat Dellit and Ed Stubbs are the Force’s other main options on the wing.
The Force have bolstered their backline for next season by signing Brumbies utility back Zack Holmes and Queensland’s speedy Luke Morahan.