19 May 1992|
Auckland, New Zealand
|Height||189 cm (6 ft 2 in)|
|Weight||109 kg (17 st 2 lb)|
As of 27 March 2018
Felise Kaufusi (born 19 May 1992) is a rugby league footballer who plays for the Melbourne Storm in the National Rugby League. He plays at second-row and prop. Kaufusi is an Australia and Tonga international representative player. Kaufusi won the 2017 NRL Premiership with the Storm.
Born in Auckland, New Zealand, Kaufusi is of Tongan descent and moved to Australia as a 7 year old, playing his junior football for the Bundaberg Brothers, before being signed by the North Queensland Cowboys. Kaufusi is the younger brother of Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs player Antonio Kaufusi and older brother of Melbourne Storm player Patrick Kaufusi.
From 2010 to 2012, Kaufusi played for the North Queensland Cowboys' NYC team. 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. On 28 June 2012, he re-signed with the Cowboys on a 1-year contract. In 2013, he moved on to the Cowboys' Queensland Cup team, Northern Pride RLFC. On 21 August 2013, he signed a 1-year contract with the Melbourne Storm starting in 2014. In July 2014, he played for the Queensland Residents against the New South Wales Residents.
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. 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. On 2 May 2015, he played for Tonga against Samoa in the Polynesian Cup. On 2 July 2015, Kaufusi re-signed with the Storm on a 2-year contract.
On 7 May, Kaufusi played for Tonga against Samoa in the 2016 Polynesian Cup. On 6 July, he was named as 18th man for Queensland in Game 3 of the 2016 State of Origin series. 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. Kaufusi finished the 2016 NRL season with him playing in 21 matches and scoring 4 tries for the Storm.
On 21 April 2017, Kaufusi re-signed his contract with the Storm to the end of the 2019 season. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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.
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- Ward, Roy (23 June 2017). "Melbourne Storm's Felise Kaufusi imitates the greats, reaps the rewards" – via The Sydney Morning Herald.
- Bungard, Matt (1 October 2017). "NRL grand final 2017: How the Melbourne Storm players rated" – via The Sydney Morning Herald.
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- "Subscribe - dailytelegraph". www.dailytelegraph.com.au.
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- Polkinghorne, David (2 November 2017). "The next batch of Kangaroos stars on show in World Cup clash against France" – via The Sydney Morning Herald.
- "Aussie freak enters history books in bloodbath".