The Dolphins NRL franchise has made an explosive launch to its recruitment campaign by landing a big fish in two-time NRL premiership winner Felise Kaufusi.
Queensland and Australian second rower Kaufusi will forever be remembered as the new NRL franchise’s first major recruit after agreeing to a three-year deal to join the club.
Kaufusi will end his extremely successful playing tenure at the Melbourne Storm at the end of the 2022 NRL season to join the Dolphins for their first year in the world’s premier rugby league competition.
He will bring significant experience to the playing group of the new franchise, including a winning attitude forged as part of the Storm’s 2017 and 2020 NRL Grand Final victories.
Dolphins’ NRL team chief executive Terry Reader said the acquisition of Kaufusi was a significant coup for the franchise.
“It is imperative the Dolphins build a squad that contains players of representative calibre and Felise certainly fits that mould,” Reader said.
“He has played 12 Origin matches for Queensland as well as representing Australia, so will bring some important experience to the playing group we are building to debut in the competition.
“The fact that that he grew up in Bundaberg is also a positive for Queensland’s newest professional sporting team.
“Felise has been part of a very successful era for the Storm club in recent years, so we are excited about the leadership and strong work ethic he will bring to the Dolphins.”
Kaufusi will join the Dolphins when pre-season training for the 2023 season kicks off in November next year.
BORN: May 19, 1992
NRL GAMES: 152 (2015-21)
ORIGIN MATCHES: 12 (2018-21)
TESTS: 4 for Australia (2017-18), 3 for Tonga (2015-17)