Antonio Kaufusi (pictured this season during an ATW Tigers match) is proud of his brothers for being selected to play for Tonga. Photo Matthew McInerney / Fraser Coast Chronicle
Antonio Kaufusi (pictured this season during an ATW Tigers match) is proud of his brothers for being selected to play for Tonga. Photo Matthew McInerney / Fraser Coast Chronicle Matthew McInerney

Antonio is proud of his brothers

THERE were plenty of celebrations for Bundaberg's Kaufusi family on Sunday night

As news broke of Felise and Patrick's selection in the Tongan squad for this weekend's rugby league international against Samoa, relatives were starting preparations to head to Sydney to support the duo at Parramatta Stadium on Saturday night.

Unfortunately for fellow brother, and former NRL player, Antonio Kaufusi he won't be joining them with commitments in Bundaberg this weekend including the Across the Waves Tigers' clash against Isis in the local competition.

Speaking after the announcement the former Tongan international, who was in the 2008 World Cup squad, said it has been a special 24 hours for his family.

"Everyone is very excited for them," he said.

"Tonga is our parents' place of birth so they are really happy to see them selected."

"They will be heading down and my older sister will be down there as well."

While both players were born in New Zealand they qualify for the team through their parents.

Antonio said both are pumped to play despite getting late call-ups.

"Felise played last year so he's pleased to be selected again," he said.

"For Patrick he only got called up on Saturday (after his performance for the Cowboys against Manly)."

"Greeny - Paul Green - came up to him and said he's been picked. He didn't have time to think."

Both players went into the Tongan camp yesterday morning and trained with their team mates later in the afternoon.

Antonio said both of his brothers deserved to the call up after their form this season.

"Felise's last year has been really strong," he said.

"For Patrick timing has been everything."

"He's played three games in a row and now gets his chance with a couple of injuries."

With Tonga also qualified for next year's World Cup, Antonio said it was a big chance for them to press their claims for a spot.

"This weekend is a great opportunity for both of them," he said.

"If they put their best foot forward then they can both be there."

Antonia said he was making sure his brothers focus on improving as players.

"We talk all the time and I'm always giving them advice," he said.

"In this game it can be one injury and you are gone for a long time."

"I hope they do all they can to work hard and prepare themselves to be the best they can be."

Felise has been named at prop for the clash with Patrick named on the bench.

The NewsMail will speak to both players later today..



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