Kato Ottio: Papua New Guinea team-mate Wellington Albert to receive counselling

Kato Ottio: Papua New Guinea team-mate Wellington Albert to receive counselling

Kato Ottio: Papua New Guinea team-mate Wellington Albert to receive counselling

The Papua New Guinea Rugby Football League (PNGRFL) said Ottio passed away at Port Moresby's Pacific International Hospital.

This news is all the more tragic, because Kato was due to travel to the United Kingdom this week to fulfil his dream of playing first-grade Rugby League.

Albert was due to fly to England with Ottio tomorrow but has put back his arrival as he tries to come to terms with the tragic news.

According to the club's twitter page, Widnes Vikings were shocked when learning from sources that the 24 year old had mysteriously died at 2am this morning.

Widnes Vikings CEO James Rule said Ottio was an "incredibly talented player, with a bright future ahead of him in rugby league".

Huddersfield centre Jordan Turner, who played with Ottio in Australia, said on his Instagram account: "Devastated to hear the news of kato's passing, some very fond memories with him from my time in Canberra".

"This news is all the more tragic, because Kato was due to travel to the United Kingdom this week to fulfil his dream of playing first-grade rugby league", he said on the team's website.

Club officials had been furnishing the house Ottio and Albert were going to share when they learned the news.

The Papua New Guinea global had only signed for Widnes in December from Canberra, where he was a regular in their feeder team.

Head coach Dennis Betts added: "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".

"Widnes Vikings would like to thank everyone who supports these efforts, and to again offer our honest condolences to his family, friends and former colleagues".

After signing for Canberra in early 2016 he established himself as a major part of feeder club Mounties, scoring regularly in NSW Cup fixtures.

"Receiving the devastating news this morning knocked me for six", he said in a statement on the Raiders website. "It was hard to believe given the age of Kato and how I remembered him here, I am really lost for words", Stuart said.

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