The sporting world has rallied around Wallabies great Toutai Kefu and his family after they were injured in what police allege was a “brutal and violent” burglary gone wrong.

Kefu, 47, was stabbed while trying to defend his family and taken to a Brisbane hospital for surgery, Queensland Police confirmed on Monday morning.

Two men are in custody while another fled the scene after the incident shortly after 3am in the Brisbane suburb of Coorparoo, police said.

Police allege Kefu suffered “very serious wounds” to his abdomen, but is expected to survive.

His wife suffered significant lacerations while two of their children were also cut.

Kefu, who coaches the Tongan national team, received messages of support from around the rugby union and rugby league communities on Monday.

“Tonga Rugby Union are shocked to hear of the assault on Toutai Kefu and family,” his employers wrote.

“Prayers go out to the family.”

The Wallabies said: “You got this great man!! All our love and thoughts to you and the entire Kefu family!”

All Blacks great Sonny Bill Williams wrote: “Thoughts and Prayers are with my Tongan brother Toutai Kefu & his family.”

Former Wallabies star Quade Cooper said: “Prayers for Kef and his family after they were senselessly attacked in their home.”

Tongan international Cooper Vuna said: “Keep fighting coach! We are all here with you. Ofa Atu Toutai Kefu.”

Rugby league veteran Ashton Sims said: “Prayers up & god’s good graces to Toutai Kefu & his family up in Brisbane.”

New Zealand Rugby and the All Blacks both tweeted in support of Kefu, calling him a “warrior on the field and a leader off it”.

Detective Superintendent Tony Fleming told reporters Kefu was the first to investigate when the family woke to noises on Monday morning.

“That person was accosted by at least one of the offenders in the premises and threatened to be stabbed if they didn’t hand over vehicle keys,” he said.

“Other members of the family came to that person’s aid and during this time, very significant injuries occurred to the family.”

Police were told neighbours came to the aid of the family and caught one of the alleged offenders, who was armed with a knife.

That juvenile has been arrested, and police retrieved a knife and an axe at the crime scene and also believe a machete was used, though it wasn’t recovered.

Another youth was arrested by police and is under guard at the Princess Alexandra Hospital.

Toutai Kefu: Rugby world rallies around Wallabies great and family after attack in Brisbane
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