- Oops!Something went wrong.Please try again later.
Warning: Graphic content
Wallabies great Toutai Kefu has broken his silence on a horrific stabbing incident this week that has left his wife with a potentially life-altering injury.
Kefu admits he is still having "outbursts of crying" as he and his family recover from being stabbed multiple times with machetes and an axe during an alleged home invasion in Brisbane.
The 47-year-old suffered critical wounds to his abdomen while trying to defend his family in their Coorparoo home in the early hours of Monday morning.
Four teenage boys, aged between 13 and 15, have been charged with 44 offences including attempted murder and grievous bodily harm after allegedly breaking into the family home while the Kefu family was sleeping.
Kefu's wife Rachel will be in hospital for another two weeks and may never have full use of one of her arms again, while his son Josh and daughter Maddi were also stabbed in the attack.
The Wallabies legend spoke publicly for the first time on Friday and says the family is still incredibly shaken up by the terrifying ordeal.
"I'm taking it day-by-day," he told reporters outside his home.
"At times you just, you know, there's outbursts of crying."
Kefu - who played 60 Tests for the Wallabies - said the incident was particularly brutal for his wife Rachel, who may never regain full use of one of her arms.
He said his wife will remain in hospital for another two weeks, and is lucky she didn't lose an arm in the attack.
"The doctor said to her if the blade was sharper it could have cut her whole arm off, the bone actually stopped the blade," he said.
"So it was really graphic, and she's just a trooper, old Rach.
"She's the biggest one that's struggling. Yeah, it'll be a slow process, we'll take each day as it comes, you know, every time I talk about my family I get emotional. "
Kefu said the nightmare began when his wife woke up after hearing a rustle, which she mistook for a possum, on Monday night.
When she went downstairs to investigate she came upon three teens and screamed out, waking up her husband.
Kefu said when he saw how young they were he was initially shocked.
Toutai Kefu praises actions of 'hero' son
But then the situation took a dark turn when the intruders allegedly started attacking him and his wife with a machete and an axe.
Kefu's son Josh, 21, was woken by the commotion and took on the attackers.
"He absolutely went into beast mode, you know, I had the two intruders on me and he just jumped in with no fear, and he copped a couple of hacks to his back," he said.
"It could have been certainly a different outcome if he didn't turn up, he had no thought for his own safety."
Kefu's 18-year-old daughter Maddi was also stabbed before one of the intruders ran outside and got into a car, which drove off.
While the second intruder was waiting for the car to come back Kefu's neighbour Ben Cannon, a local real estate agent and cousin of Toutai's former Wallabies teammate Brendan Cannon, arrived.
He tackled the teenager and pinned him down until police arrived.
"If he didn't turn up it could have been a different story," he said.
"He's an absolute hero, incredibly heroic."
Police arrived not long after and all four members of the Kefu family were rushed to hospital.
Kefu thanked the doctors, police, the public and the rugby union community for their support over the past week.
"The outpouring of love in the world, from everyone, it's been unbelievable," he said.
"I'd just like to thank everyone for keeping us in their thoughts during that time.
"As a family we're very, very grateful and thankful to have that kind of support, so we really appreciate it"
Click here to sign up to our newsletter for all the latest and breaking stories from Australia and around the world.