Former Wallabies star Toutai Kefu fought back tears on Friday as he relived a traumatic burglary that left four members of his family injured, but said he did not hate the teenage intruders.
The 47-year-old head coach of Tonga, who played 60 Tests for Australia between 1997 and 2003, was rushed to hospital on Monday after being stabbed at his house in an alleged attack by four youths armed with knives, an axe and a machete.
His wife, son and daughter were also hurt.
“I’m just grateful that we all got out,” he told reporters outside his Brisbane home after being released from hospital.
“We’re alive. You know, there might be a little bit of damage moving forward, but we’re still breathing.
“You know at times, there’s outbursts of crying,” he added. “I think the first step for us is just getting back to the house and then we take it day by day.
“It’s a traumatic event so it’s going to be a slow process.”
Four suspects aged between 13 and 15 have been arrested and charged with a host of offences, including attempted murder.
But rather than animosity, Kefu said he felt sorry for them.
“When I actually came downstairs, I could see how young they were. I was shocked,” he said. “And to find out they were 15- and 13-year-olds involved. I was really shocked.
“I don’t hate them — I’ve got a 15-year-old. I feel sorry for them.”
While Kefu, his son and daughter have been released from hospital, his wife Rachel is still recovering and waiting to see whether she will regain full use of her arm.
“At one stage, I think the doctor said to her if the blade was sharper it would have cut her whole arm off — but the bone actually stopped the blade,” he said.
“So it was really graphic and she’s a trooper, Rach.”
Kefu was born in Tonga but played 60 times for the Wallabies and won the 1999 Rugby World Cup before taking over with the Pacific Islanders five years ago.
©️ Agence France-Presse
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