Antonio Kaufusi

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Antonio Kaufusi (born 27 November 1984 in Tonga) is a Tongan professional rugby league footballer for the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs of the National Rugby League. An Australian and Tongan international and Queensland State of Origin representative prop, he previously played for the Melbourne Storm, North Queensland Cowboys and Newcastle Knights, and the London Broncos, Huddersfield Giants and Bradford Bulls in the Super League.[1]

Playing career

Storm

Kaufusi made his first-grade debut against the Bulldogs in 2003.

He played at prop forward in his first Grand Final in 2006, when the Storm were defeated by the Brisbane Broncos, 15–8.

A serious knee injury prevented Kaufusi from participating in the Storm's victorious 2007 premiership winning team.[2] He played in the 2008 NRL Grand Final defeat by Manly.[3]

Cowboys

In 2009, the North Queensland Cowboys signed Kaufusi on a large contract. His stint with the Cowboys was short though, being released a year later.

Knights

On the 25th of June 2010, Kaufusi was released from his contract with the North Queensland Cowboys to join the Newcastle Knights for the rest of 2010 and a further 2 years.[4][5][6][7] He made a winning debut for the Knights in Round 18 against the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks.

London Broncos

On the 18th of August 2011, Kaufusi signed a 3-year deal with London Broncos in the European Super League after 2012 Knights coach Wayne Bennett released him from his contract a year early. He is extremely popular with the fans at The Stoop, where he won Player of the Month for February.[8]

Huddersfield Giants

(For 2014 Super League season highlights, stats and results click on 2014 Super League season results)

Bradford Bulls

On the second of May 2014, Antonio signed on loan for Bradford for the rest of the 2014 season.[9][10]

Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs

On 13 November 2014, Kaufusi signed a 2-year contract with the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs starting in 2015, to return to Australia.[11]

Representative career

In 2006 Kaufusi was called up to the Australian tri-nations squad after Reni Maitua received an ankle injury in the first test against New Zealand.

He was named in the Tonga squad for the 2008 Rugby League World Cup.[12]

Career highlights

  • Junior Club: Brothers (Bundaberg)
  • First XV Undefeated Premiership: Nudgee College (Brisbane) 2002
  • First Grade Debut: Round 22, Melbourne v Bulldogs at Sydney Showground, August 10, 2003
  • State of Origin Debut: Game One, Series 2007 for Queensland

References

  1. Dave Donaghy (21 August 2008). "Melbourne Storm prop Antonio Kaufusi heads for North Queensland". The Herald Sun. http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,21985,24218408-11088,00.html. Retrieved 24 March 2009.
  2. Dave Donaghy (4 October 2007). "Antonio Kaufusi trains to ease Grand Final pain". The Herald Sun. http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,21985,22527375-11088,00.html. Retrieved 24 March 2009.
  3. "Grand final: As it happened". Fox Sports. 2008-10-05. http://www.foxsports.com.au/story/0,8659,24449388-23214,00.html. Retrieved 2008-10-05.
  4. http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/sport/nrl/knights-sign-ex-test-prop-kaufusi/story-e6frexnr-1225884030563
  5. http://www.townsvillebulletin.com.au/article/2010/06/24/148771_cowboys.html
  6. Proszenko, Adrian (20 June 2010). "Knights ride to the rescue of Kaufusi". The Sydney Morning Herald. http://www.smh.com.au/rugby-league/league-news/knights-ride-to-the-rescue-of-kaufusi-20100619-ynuj.html.
  7. http://www.theherald.com.au/news/local/sport/rugby-league/stone-banks-on-kaufusi-revival/1863295.aspx
  8. "Harlequins sign Australian pair". BBC News. 18 August 2011. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/rugby_union/14573951.stm.
  9. http://www.superleague.co.uk/article/30123/bulls-take-kaufusi-on-loan
  10. http://www1.skysports.com/rugby-league/news/12213/9293638/super-league-bradford-bulls-bring-in-prop-antonio-kaufusi-from-huddersfield-giants
  11. http://www.bulldogs.com.au/news/2014/11/13/kaufusi_joins_the_bulldogs.html
  12. "Samoa, Tonga and Fiji name squads". BBC. 2008-10-08. Archived from the original on 13 October 2008. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/rugby_league/7658506.stm. Retrieved 2008-10-09.

External links