Kaufusi building up steam in lead-up to likely Origin debut
Melbourne back-rower Felise Kaufusi feels like he is starting to hit his stride after a troublesome hamstring injury put him out for a month - and is all but a certain selection to make his Maroons debut next month.
Kaufusi represented Australia in the World Cup at the end of 2017 following a stunning breakout season but his hopes of continuing that momentum were scuppered by a round-one hamstring strain which kept him on ice until round five.
He looked like his dominant 2017 self by round seven in the win over Brisbane before racking up a season-high 114 metres in the big Anzac Day win over the Warriors. Last weekend's loss to the Dragons was a bump in the road for the team overall, but Kaufusi remains hopeful he and the team continue their steady improvement.
"It was a bit of a setback with the loss [to the Dragons] but I feel like I'm building and building each and every week," Kaufusi told NRL.com.
"I was out injured for a couple of weeks at the start of the season but I'm starting to put some games together now.
Given an unexpected 2-3 start to the year, Kaufusi said there was no risk of complacency despite the big win over the Warriors.
"We were good for a few weeks and I think [the Dragons loss] was a bit of a wake-up call," he added.
"Hopefully we can go back to the drawing board and come back stronger this Saturday [against the Titans at Suncorp Stadium]. It's a big stadium, one of the best we've got in the NRL. It's always good playing in front of a big crowd and we get a lot of support up there which is good."
Kaufusi is odds on for a Maroons berth given the neck injury which has sidelined fellow edge back-rower Matt Gillett but the 25-year-old insisted there were still plenty of good players for coach Kevin Walters to consider.
"There's a lot of good players, a lot of good back-rowers he can pick so the best I can do is play well each week to push my case."