Kato Ottio passes away aged 23


The rugby league community is in shock after news broke 23-year-old Papua New Guinean International Kato Ottio had passed away after suffering “a sudden health issue” ahead of joining English Super League club Widnes.

Ottio had most recently represented the Kumuls at the World Cup and had become a cult hero with Canberra fans as a try scoring machine for their lower grade outfit Mounties in the NSW Cup.

The winger was very unlucky to never make his NRL debut.

English great and Widnes coach Dennis Betts was shocked by the news.

“To receive this tragic news is heart-breaking,’’ he said.



“All of us saw at the World Cup the incredible gifts that Kato had, and his potential to forge a great career in Rugby League. Moreover, in all of our interactions with him, we found Kato to be a person of great character, who was excited to be following his dreams.

“On behalf of the coaching team, staff and players at Widnes Vikings, I would like to offer our sincere condolences to Kato’s loved ones.”

Ottio was a regular on The81stMinute’s Intrust Super Premiership Steele Sports coverage in recent seasons and instantly became one of the commentary team’s favourite players with his blistering speed out wide for Mounties.



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