Storm re-sign promising young prop
Melbourne has fought off circling rival clubs to re-sign emerging forward Felise Kaufusi for a further two years.
Kaufusi has played 13 games for the Storm this season and shown his promise as a forward of the future after being handed a Round 1 NRL debut.
The 23-year-old has been a solid performer off the bench, averaging 13.8 tackles a game and more than nine metres per run.
His talent had seen other clubs looking to lure the Tonga international out of Melbourne but the club has moved swiftly to ensure Kaufusi would be wearing purple until at least the end of 2017.
“Felise is a very good young player who we believe can play regular first grade football,” Melbourne Storm Football Director Frank Ponissi said.
“He attracted a number of other offers, so we are very pleased he has decided to stay with Melbourne Storm and the next two years allows the club to continue to develop him into a consistent NRL player.
“His signing is great news for Melbourne Storm for now and for the future.”
It is timely news for the Storm faithful who only a day ago were dealt a blow with the news emerging outside back Kurt Mann had signed on to join the Dragons at season's end.
But Kaufusi, who joined the Storm in 2014 after three fruitless years with the Cowboys, saw the opportunity to play regular first grade football as one that was simply too good to refuse.
"It has been unreal, I've still got a lot of improvement in me and I look forward to working on the little things and getting better," Kaufusi said.
"Just having players like Cameron Smith, Cooper Cronk, Billy Slater, Jesse Bromwich and the pack that we've got I think I can still improve and get better as a player.
"I think he (Bromwich) is the best prop in the game and I'm trying to learn as much as I can from the big unit."