Tuesday 20 February 2018 / 04:46 AM


Few players have enjoyed as rapid a rise in 2017 as Melbourne Storm second-rower Felise Kaufusi.

Prior to this year, all but five of Kafusi’s 38 NRL appearances were from the bench; he averaged 29 minutes of game-time in the Storm’s charge to the 2016 grand final.

But the 25-year-old has played more minutes than any forward (excluding hookers) in the NRL in 2017 – starting every game and averaging 78.2 minutes on the paddock.

Unlucky to miss out on a Queensland Origin debut in the recent Origin series, he’s developed into far more than a durable workhorse, however.

Kaufusi has filled the right-edge hole left by Kiwi Test veteran Kevin Proctor with aplomb, scoring seven tries this year, all in a remarkable eight-game mid-season stretch.

The Auckland-born Tongan international also has 10 line-breaks, 23 tackle-breaks and three try-assists to his name this season. Check out his best work so far from a breakout campaign.


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Will Evans

CBS’s Editor-in-Chief and lead rugby league, union and cricket writer, Will is a Christchurch-based freelancer, also writing for Big League and Rugby League Review magazines, and The New Daily website. Will has written four rugby league books.

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