HomeFeaturedKaufusi family ready to cheer Maroons

Kaufusi family ready to cheer Maroons

Pelenatita and Antonio Kaufusi will be cheering on the Maroons at Origin time.

The Kaufusi family will join crowds of fans cheering on the Maroons when the team comes to Bundaberg in June.

But none will cheer as loudly as Pelenatita Kaufusi, who hasn't seen her son, Felise Kaufusi, since December.

He’s one of the region’s most recent State of Origin representatives and his family is hopeful they’ll see him don the Maroon again in 2021.

“I'm so excited and looking forward to seeing him and all the team coming here to Bundaberg,” she said.

Felise, a former Brother’s Rugby League Club player and Shalom College student, is on track to be selected in this year’s Queensland NRL Origin team and will visit for the upcoming Fan Day and Street Parade.

Pelenatita said she is counting down to see Felise play in his fourth Origin series.

“Origin night is a big party when it does happen. We all get together and then everyone's screaming and so excited.”

Antonio Kaufusi, Felise’s older brother, has also spent time on the Origin field and will be cheering the team along with his mum and more than 20 family members.

“He's just been playing great, we’re all obviously really, really proud of the little brother on telly.

“It's just something to look forward to as a family. We always get together as much as we can and watch him play,” Antonio said.

Antonio Kaufusi gives back to local rugby league

The contribution of the Kaufusi family to rugby league in Bundaberg is huge, but Antonio puts it down to more than just good genes.

“My dad's claim to fame is that he reckons we got it all off him. But when we moved here to Bundy we started our junior footy and were fortunate enough to go through and play a few games.

“Then all the way through to play on the big stage, which is really, really rare, but obviously an awesome achievement to get there.

Antonio Kaufusi has spent time on the Origin field.

Although he no longer plays at a professional level, Antonio is giving back by teaching the next generation of local NRL legends.

“I was pretty uncomfortable with the idea of coaching because that's something I never thought I'd do.

“But now I’m really, really excited about coaching and giving back and trying to pass on the knowledge that I've got over the years, and filter that through to the local footy.”

Thanks to Auswide Bank, aspiring NRL players can meet their favourite players in person during the Regional Fan Day on June 1 at the Bundaberg Multiplex.

Read more: Past and present Origin players to take to Bundy streets

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