SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 18: Felise Kaufusi of the Storm looks on after being placed on report for a tackle on Ryan Matterson of the Eels during the round two NRL match between the Parramatta Eels and the Melbourne Storm at Bankwest Stadium on March 18, 2021, in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

The Melbourne Storm have revealed that representative back-rower Felise Kaufusi will miss this Thursday’s clash against the Penrith Panthers following the passing of his father Taniela this week.

Kaufusi will spend time with his family in the wake of the devastating personal loss, with no time-frame on his return.

Earlier this year Kaufusi ruled himself out of the State of Origin decider after travelling to the United States to be by his father’s side after he was hospitalised in Los Angeles.

At the time Kaufusi’s mother having issues regarding the matter and Craig Bellamy said Kaufusi wanted to get over there “as soon as possible to support them – family comes first.”

The family were able to secure passage to Australia for the ailing Kaufusi patriarch, but his condition continued to deteriorate. At the time his father’s condition was a driving factor behind Kaufusi’s decision to represent Tonga at the upcoming World Cup.

“Dad wore Tonga gear when (Australia) played them in 2018. It’s something I’ve been sitting on for a while,” Kaufusi told the Daily Telegraph back in June.

“It’s the opportunity to represent my heritage, my family, and challenge the best sides. That would be the pinnacle.

Kaufusi, who is off to the Dolphins next year, has already spoken to Kangaroos coach Mal Meninga to advise him of his decision.

“I said I don’t want to stuff you around – I’m playing for Tonga at the World Cup,” Kaufusi said of the chat with Meninga.

“He was really good about it. He understood my reasoning. He wished me good luck.”