Felise Kaufusi

Felise Kaufusi (born 19 May 1992) is a professional rugby league footballer who plays as a second-row for the Melbourne Storm in the NRL, and has played for Tonga and Australia at international level.

Felise Kaufusi
Personal information
Born (1992-05-19) 19 May 1992
Auckland, New Zealand
Height189 cm (6 ft 2 in)
Weight109 kg (17 st 2 lb)
Playing information
PositionSecond-row, Prop
Club
Years Team Pld T G FG P
2015– Melbourne Storm 112 22 0 0 88
Representative
Years Team Pld T G FG P
2015–17 Tonga 3 0 0 0 0
2017–18 Australia 4 1 0 0 4
2018–19 Queensland 6 1 0 0 4
As of 1 October 2019
Source: [1][2]

Kaufusi won the 2017 NRL Grand Final with the Storm, and has also played for Queensland.

Early life

Kaufusi was born in Auckland, New Zealand, and is of Tongan descent. He moved to Australia as a 7 year old and was educated at Shalom Catholic College, Bundaberg.

Felise played his junior football for the Bundaberg Brothers, before being signed by the North Queensland Cowboys.[3] Kaufusi is the younger brother of Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs player Antonio Kaufusi and older brother of Melbourne Storm player Patrick Kaufusi.[4][5]

Playing career

Early career

From 2010 to 2012, Kaufusi played for the North Queensland Cowboys' NYC team.[6][7] On 2 October 2011, Kaufusi played in the Cowboys' 2011 NYC Grand Final 31-30 Golden Point Extra Time loss to the New Zealand Warriors.[8] On 28 June 2012, he re-signed with the Cowboys on a 1-year contract.[9] In 2013, he moved on to the Cowboys' Queensland Cup team, Northern Pride RLFC.[10] On 21 August 2013, he signed a 1-year contract with the Melbourne Storm starting in 2014.[11] In July 2014, he played for the Queensland Residents against the New South Wales Residents.[12]

2015

In Round 1 of the 2015 NRL season, Kaufusi made his NRL debut for the Melbourne Storm against the St. George Illawarra Dragons, playing off the interchange bench in the 12-4 win at Jubilee Oval.[13][14] In Round 4 against the North Queensland Cowboys, Kaufusi scored his first NRL career try in the Storm’s 18-17 win at 1300SMILES Stadium.[15] On 2 May 2015, he played for Tonga against Samoa in the Polynesian Cup.[16] On 2 July 2015, Kaufusi re-signed with the Storm on a 2-year contract.[17]

2016

On 7 May, Kaufusi played for Tonga against Samoa in the 2016 Polynesian Cup.[18] On 6 July, he was named as 18th man for Queensland in Game 3 of the 2016 State of Origin series.[19] Kaufusi was named as 18th man for the Storm in their 2016 NRL Grand Final clash against the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks but didn’t play in the 14-12 thrilling loss.[20] Kaufusi finished the 2016 NRL season with him playing in 21 matches and scoring 4 tries for the Storm.

2017

On 21 April 2017, Kaufusi re-signed his contract with the Storm to the end of the 2019 season.[21] On 6 May 2017, Kaufusi played for Tonga against Fiji in the 2017 Pacific Test, where he started at second-row in the 26-24 win at Campbelltown Stadium.[22] During the season, Kaufusi took over the void second-row position from the departed Kevin Proctor and he took the opportunity by both hands and was instrumental for the Storm to their run leading up to the Finals series where they the winners of the Minor Premiership trophy.[23] On 1 October 2017, in the Storm’s 2017 NRL Grand Final match against the North Queensland Cowboys, Kaufusi started at second-row and scored a try in the 34-6 victory.[24][25] Kaufusi finished his breakout 2017 NRL season with him playing all of the Storm’s 27 matches and scored 9 tries. On 3 October 2017, two days after the Grand Final win, Kaufusi was rewarded with selection in the 24-man Kangaroos squad for the 2017 Rugby League World Cup.[26][27] On 3 November 2017, Kaufusi made his test debut for Australia against France, where he played off the interchange bench in the 52-6 win at Canberra Stadium.[28][29]

2018

In Round 1, Kaufusi suffered a hamstring injury being sidelined for three weeks. In May, he signed a two-year extension to remain with the Melbourne Storm.[30]

Kaufusi made his debut for Queensland in Game 1 of the 2018 State of Origin series, starting at second-row in all three games. He then featured in the Melbourne Storm's Grand Final loss to the Sydney Roosters. Kaufusi played in 21 games for the Storm in 2018, scoring five tries. Kaufusi played for Australia in the end of season tests vs New Zealand and Tonga.

Career stats

Club

Season Team Appearances Tries Goals Goal-kicking percentage Field Goals Points
2015 NRL Season Melbourne Storm 17 2 - - - 8
2016 NRL Season Melbourne Storm 21 4 - - - 16
2017 NRL Season Melbourne Storm 27 9 - - - 36
2018 NRL Season Melbourne Storm 21 5 - - - 20

Representative

Years Team Appearances Tries Goals Goal-kicking Field Goals Points
2017-2018 Australia 4 1 - - - 4
2018-2019 Queensland 4 1 - - - -
2015-2017 Tonga 3 - - - - -

[31]

Honours

Melbourne Storm

References

  1. "Felise Kaufusi - Career Stats & Summary". Rugby League Project. Retrieved 13 March 2016.
  2. loverugbyleague
  3. "'Fruit picking to World Cup' by Felise Kaufusi - PlayersVoice". 2 November 2017.
  4. "Kaufusi brothers lead try-spree | Bundaberg NewsMail". News-mail.com.au. 13 November 2011. Retrieved 9 March 2015.
  5. "Kaufusi in line to make NRL debut". Townsvillebulletin.com.au. Retrieved 27 June 2015.
  6. "Toyota Cup Team Lists: Round Two". NRL.com. 15 March 2011. Retrieved 9 March 2015.
  7. "'Make or break' for Kaufusi | Bundaberg NewsMail". News-mail.com.au. 24 November 2011. Retrieved 9 March 2015.
  8. "Warriors clinch golden point victory after Cowboys comeback in Toyota Cup grand final". Foxsports.com.au. Retrieved 9 March 2015.
  9. "Cowboys retain four young stars". NRL News. 28 June 2012. Retrieved 9 March 2015.
  10. "Kaufusi and Feldt set for Pride debuts". Northernpride.com.au. 21 March 2013. Retrieved 9 March 2015.
  11. "Storm hunts down more young guns | NRL". Zero Tackle. 21 August 2013. Retrieved 9 March 2015.
  12. "XXXX Queensland Residents team". QRL. Retrieved 9 March 2015.
  13. "Dragons lose Dugan in uninspired start".
  14. "Round 1 - Late mail - Storm". Melbournestorm.com.au. Retrieved 9 March 2015.
  15. "JT steals the show in golden point".
  16. "Tonga Named To Face Samoa In Pacific Test". Rugbyleagueweek.com.au. 26 April 2015. Archived from the original on 30 April 2015. Retrieved 3 May 2015.
  17. "Young forward commits to the Club - Storm". Melbournestorm.com.au. Retrieved 9 July 2015.
  18. "Samoa holds on in pulsating Pacific Test". nrl.com. Retrieved 7 May 2016.
  19. NRL. "Addition to Maroons squad". QRL. Retrieved 7 July 2016.
  20. Jones, Shane. "Nervous wait for Kaufusi ahead of NRL grand final".
  21. "No second to spare in Kaufusi's rise".
  22. "Unlikely hero inspires 12-man Tonga to victory".
  23. Ward, Roy (23 June 2017). "Melbourne Storm's Felise Kaufusi imitates the greats, reaps the rewards" via The Sydney Morning Herald.
  24. Bungard, Matt (1 October 2017). "NRL grand final 2017: How the Melbourne Storm players rated" via The Sydney Morning Herald.
  25. "Super Storm crowned NRL premiers".
  26. "Subscribe - dailytelegraph". www.dailytelegraph.com.au.
  27. "Kangaroos rookie Felise Kaufusi explains why picking Australia over Tonga was easy". Stuff.
  28. Polkinghorne, David (2 November 2017). "The next batch of Kangaroos stars on show in World Cup clash against France" via The Sydney Morning Herald.
  29. "Aussie freak enters history books in bloodbath".
  30. "Felise Kaufusi commits to Melbourne Storm for two more seasons". www.sportingnews.com. Retrieved 8 June 2019.
  31. "Felise Kaufusi - Career Stats & Summary - Rugby League Project". www.rugbyleagueproject.org. Retrieved 8 June 2019.
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