BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - OCTOBER 11:  Felise Kaufusi looks on during an Australian Kangaroos Rugby League World Cup training session at Suncorp Stadium on October 11, 2017 in Brisbane, Australia.  (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)
BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - OCTOBER 11: Felise Kaufusi looks on during an Australian Kangaroos Rugby League World Cup training session at Suncorp Stadium on October 11, 2017 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images) Chris Hyde

Kaufusi joins list of Bundy players to become a Kangaroo

FELISE Kaufusi is the Bundaberg region's 17th Kangaroo after his debut against France at the Rugby League World Cup last night in Canberra.

The former Past Brothers junior broke an 11-year representative drought for the Bundaberg Rugby League.

The last Australian representative from Bundaberg was Felise's brother Antonio, who wore the green and gold in 2006.

 

Antonio Kaufusi debuted in 2006.
Antonio Kaufusi debuted in 2006.

Bundaberg has an impressive pedigree in it's 109-year history with the jersey.

The Rum City lays claim to the third most capped player in history, Mal Meninga, who was also the coach last night.

Mick Bolewski - the first recognised Bundy player - Bill Heidke, and Dugald McGregor made 10 appearances between them from 1908 to 1909.

Bill would later become part of the only father-son duo from Bundy to represent Australia with Les making his debut in 1932.

Bundaberg had eight representatives in the team up until Les in 1932.

In recent years, the representative numbers have dwindled with Felise the fourth player in the past 35 years to play for Australia, joining Meninga, Les Kiss and his brother Antonio.

Bundaberg Rugby League chairman Mike Ireland is confident that will change, saying the region is heading towards another golden era.

"You've got Coen Hess knocking on the door and I reckon he is a certainly to be picked soon," he said.

"We've also had players like Flanagan picked up for the Capras and two Hervey Bay boys going down to the Sunshine Coast.

"We definitely have the class here, it's just about being seen by scouts."

Ireland said the junior development in the region had led to the success.

 

 

Mal Meninga is Bundaberg born.
Mal Meninga is Bundaberg born. LUKAS COCH

Our Kangaroo honour board

1 Mick Bolewski Officially the first Bundaberg player to play for Australia in 1908. Made four appearances and was part of the first ever Australian tour.

2 Bill Heidke Was the first Bundaberg player to captain Australia in 1910. Heidke made four appearances.

3 Dugald McGregor Made two appearances for Australia and was one of the first Bundy players to play in what is now the NRL.

4 Harold Heidke Made one appearance in 1909.

 

5 Arch Harvey Made one appearance in 1909.

 

6 Henry Bolewski Made one appearance in 1914 and is the brother of Mick.

 

7 Bill Spencer Made four appearances starting in 1929.

 

8 Les Heidke Made nine appearances and is the son of Bill.

 

 

Les Heidke joined his father Bill as a Roo.
Les Heidke joined his father Bill as a Roo. Contributed

9 Noel Hazzard The centre made 13 appearances for Australia.

10 Bernie Drew Drew made three appearances for Australia after playing well for Past Brothers in the 1950s.

11 Noel Gallagher The former Past Brothers player made two appearances.

12 Noel Cavanagh Played for Australia in 1965 after playing for Brothers in Brisbane. Also played for North Sydney in the NSW rugby league competition.

13 Col Weiss Made three appearances for Australia in 1969 and 1970.

14 Mal Meninga Has made the most appearances for Australia with 46. Captained the side to the 1992 World Cup.

15 Les Kiss Made four appearance for Australia in 1986. Has coached at the top level as well for London Broncos and Ulster in rugby union.

16 Antonio Kaufusi Made his one and only appearance in 2006. Has played over 200 NRL games as well.

17 Felise Kaufusi The latest to join the Kangaroos list. Played in this year's NRL grand final win with the Melbourne Storm.



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