Cross-code Reds star Suliasi Vunivalu going to mediation over assault charge

Queensland Reds rugby star Suliasi Vunivalu is going to mediation for allegedly assaulting a security guard at a Brisbane pub.

The 25-year-old was charged with common assault over the incident on January 30.

He didn’t face Brisbane Magistrates Court on Monday when his case was mentioned for the second time.

But his lawyer Jonathan Ivanisevic said Vunivalu was about to be referred for justice mediation.

Now called adult restorative justice conferencing, the mediation process is a facilitated meeting between a person who caused harm and those most affected by it.

A possible outcome of such conferencing is that the charge against Vunivalu could be dropped, Mr Ivanisevic said outside court.

The Reds alleged earlier Vunivalu had pushed a security guard, but a Queensland Police spokesperson told AAP it would be alleged an intoxicated Vunivalu “struck the victim in the face”.

Vunivalu’s appearance was excused on Monday and he remains on bail .

He is due back in the same court on August 13, unless the matter is resolved earlier, the court was told.

The former Melbourne Storm winger starred in his side’s NRL grand final victory in October, after spending almost six months away from his family in the club’s Sunshine Coast COVID-19 bubble.

But it hasn’t been a smooth transition to the Queensland Reds with Vunivalu missing three of his side’s seven wins this Super Rugby AU season, first because of suspension then due to a hamstring injury.