Broncos heads safe from Flegler fire: Dolphins’ Kaufusi

Joel Gould |

Thomas Flegler remains a barn-storming presence for the Dolphins.
Thomas Flegler remains a barn-storming presence for the Dolphins.

Brisbane’s forwards will be on red alert when former teammate Thomas Flegler rips into them for the Dolphins – but their heads should be safe from harm.

That’s the message from injured Dolphins second-rower Felise Kaufusi ahead of Friday’s ‘Battle of Brisbane’ at Suncorp Stadium.

Flegler has been named at prop for the Dolphins after suffering a shoulder burn in last week’s 26-16 win over Wests Tigers.

Kaufusi wasn’t so lucky and will miss several weeks with a hamstring strain suffered in the same game.

Both forwards play an aggressive style of footy that has led to brushes with authority – Kaufusi missed the corresponding match last year due to suspension.

Queensland State of Origin enforcer Flegler, recruited from the Broncos last year, has worked hard to improve his discipline.

It is one of the reasons Australia coach Mal Meninga handed the 24-year-old his Test debut last year.

Kaufusi was asked whether Flegler was likely to unleash against his former team.

“Not at all,” he grinned.

“I am probably the wrong person to be asking. It has cost me.

“If anything I need to take a couple of notes off him.

“Thomas is an aggressive player, like myself, (but) he will play within the rules.

“He won’t do anything silly, not anything to take anyone’s head off. He will be right.

“The way he has been playing he doesn’t have to change anything.”

Kaufusi, one of the NRL’s best defenders, was hurting to miss the match after failing a fitness test on Tuesday.

“I am no good to play this week. It is worse than we thought so it will take a couple of weeks for me to get back on track,” he said.

Kaufusi’s place will be taken by his former Melbourne teammate Kenny Bromwich.

The Dolphins are also without injured centre Herbie Farnworth (shoulder) and suspended duo Max Plath and Kurt Donoghue.

Kaufusi had no doubt the Dolphins’ replacements, also including former Brisbane playmaker Anthony Milford on the bench, would deliver.

“Absolutely. It is not hard to get up for these games,” he said.

“The Battle of Brisbane, playing the Broncos at Suncorp … it doesn’t get much bigger or better than that.

“I’ve missed it two years in a row now, which sucks, but that is the game we play.”

AAP