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A father who went mango picking on Australia's east coast to find a better life for his family has led to Felise Kaufusi being named to represent Queensland in State of Origin.

The 26-year-old Melbourne Storm forward told QRL Media that his father left the family behind in New Zealand when he first moved to Australia, and took on a variety of seasonal jobs.

To watch the full interview, click on the embedded video above.

As well as picking mangoes, Kaufusi's father also picked grapes and moved around to the Northern Territory and Bowen on the Whitsunday Coast, before settling for good in Bundaberg.

Felise, who has also represented Tonga, joined him in the city at the age of six.

Along with Coen Hess, Felise now proudly represents a region that was sorely tested by widespread flooding in 2010 and 2013.

Older brother Antonio Kaufusi, who also played Origin in 2007, still remains active in local league in Bundaberg, playing and coaching for the iconic Across The Waves club.

Renowned for his wild hair – which he revealed his mother dislikes – Felise said he was undecided if he would do anything special with his frizzy locks ahead of his Origin debut.

Kaufusi and the Maroons will take on New South Wales at the Melbourne Cricket Game on Wednesday, June 6 in Game One of the Holden State of Origin series.

Day One in Camp Maroon in photos.

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Queensland Rugby League respects and honours 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.

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