You have skipped the navigation, tab for page content

At 24, many front-rowers are still finding their way in the NRL, but Oregon Kaufusi will mark 100 games in rugby league's toughest occupation against the Roosters on Saturday night.

Having made his first-grade debut for the Eels as an 18-year-old in 2018, the unassuming Sharks prop is somewhat of a young veteran.

He will go into a blockbuster Magic Round clash in terrific form, scoring tries in his past two games and playing a key role in Cronulla's six-game winning streak.

Ahead of the milestone, Kaufusi sat down with Sharks Media to reflect.

"I was born in Auckland, New Zealand," he said.

"I moved over to Australia when I was quite young. My parents enrolled me and my brothers into playing rugby union for the Blacktown Scorpions."

Growing up in western Sydney, Kaufusi attended Hills Sports High School - a renowned rugby league nursery - and found his calling in the 13-a-side code.

"My first memory of attending Hills... Teacher and coach Scott Jones, he was sort of the one that transitioned me from rugby union to league," Kaufusi said.

His rise through Parramatta's junior representative system was swift, culminating in the powerful forward being promoted to the elite level while still a teenager.

"I spent that year (2018) playing (Jersey) Flegg, transitioned into (NSW) Cup and went on to make my debut for first grade (in Round 23)," Kaufusi said.

It was a baptism of fire, with Kaufusi coming off the bench in 20-4 defeat to a champion Storm team featuring the great Cameron Smith and Billy Slater.

The humble giant continued to develop in the following seasons, becoming an NRL regular in 2020. He played a key role off the interchange in Parramatta's run to the grand final in 2022, signing off from the club in the 28-12 loss to Penrith.

The disappointment was offset by his international debut for Samoa at the end of that season, making history as part of the underdog team that reached the Pacific nation's first World Cup final against Australia in England.

"It gave me a chance to represent my mum’s side and just learn about our culture. Being able to represent on the world stage was quite special," he said.

Kaufusi joined the Sharks ahead of the 2023 season. It was a move more than 12 months in the making after he put pen to paper on the deal in December 2021.

"Before signing I met up with Fitz (coach Craig Fitzgibbon) and Moons (General Manager Football Darren Mooney). They laid out what the Sharkies looked like, brought me in and got me real excited," Kaufusi said.

While Kaufusi has experienced playing on the biggest stages, he nominated the highlight of his career thus far as having his baby daughter Estelle, born last September, watch him play in the flesh for the first time.

Young Estelle will be there at Suncorp Stadium to soak up the Magic Round atmosphere on Saturday along with Kaufusi's parents, siblings and partner Talia.

"This 100th game is something very special to me. It’s more exciting that I’ll be able to do it alongside the boys at the Sharks," Kaufusi said.

"Being able to debut in front of them (his family) and now to play my 100th is something special. I’m looking forward to it," he concluded.

Acknowledgement of Country

Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

Premier Partner

Major Partners

View All Partners