Melbourne Storm second-rower Felise Kaufusi will farewell the club at the end of the 2022 NRL season.
Kaufusi will return to his home state of Queensland to continue his career from 2023 onwards but will remain an important member of Storm’s forward pack in the upcoming premiership campaign.
The 29-year-old forward brought up 150 matches for Storm towards the end of the 2021 season and has progressed to Test and State of Origin football since making his debut for Melbourne in 2015.
Storm General Manager – Football Frank Ponissi said Kaufusi had given great service to Storm.
“Felise has been such a wonderfully consistent and reliable player for us over his seven seasons,” he said.
“He has represented our club with distinction on and off the field, featuring prominently in two premiership victories and finals campaigns in every season he’s been with us.Frank Ponissi on Felise Kaufusi
“While we would have loved to have Felise continue with us past 2022, unfortunately that won’t be possible but I’m sure he will want to make his last season here in Melbourne one to remember and savour.
“He’s been very open and honest with us over the past two weeks as contract negotiations have taken place which is just what you expect from Fus who is a family man of great integrity.
“We will certainly miss him and his wife Bec who has been a huge supporter of her husband’s career and what we do here at Storm, as well as their three kids - Indiana, Orlando and Atarah – who were a big hit in our Sunshine Coast camps.”
Kaufusi said he was dedicated to making his last year at Storm a successful one.
“I’m really glad to have the opportunity to go back to AAMI Park and play in front of the home crowd again in 2022,” he said.
“I certainly want to make the most of the last year and have to thank everyone at Storm for making the last seven seasons so memorable for me and family.
“Craig and Frank have been great to me, Bec and our kids and we will certainly miss everyone when the time comes.
“But for now, I’m just looking forward to get into pre-season training with my Storm mates.”
Kaufusi will start his final pre-season with Melbourne on December 7.