Shock death of NRL hopeful Ottio

Funeral Service for late Kumul Ottio on Friday

Ottio's manager Steve Deacon detailed the moments before the former-Raider collapsed, while training with QLD Cup team the PNG Hunters.

"He collapsed and was taken up to the hospital but they couldn't help him".

"We had been in regular contact with Kato and were excited to welcome a bright, excited and passionate young man, who had genuine potential for the future".

'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, ' Rule continued.

Playing in all of PNG's World Cup games, Ottio - as well as several of his teammates such as Garry Lo and Wellington Albert - raised his profile greatly with a string of powerful performances.

Widnes chief executive James Rule said Ottio's death had sent shockwaves through the club.

"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.

Canberra coach Ricky Stuart said: "Receiving the devastating news this morning knocked me for six".

"He was a great guy and I'm just devastated". At 23 years of age, Ottio had his whole life ahead of him; it is therefore even more harrowing that these words must be used, but, Rest in Peace Kato Ottio.

Widnes have launched a crowdfunding campaign to remember Kato Ottio and support his family. My thoughts go out to his family.

Denis Betts, Head Coach of Widnes Vikings, says: "To receive this tragic news is heart-breaking".

Remarkably Ottio had been a fine volleyball prospect until switching to rugby league just two years ago.

"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".

He signed for Canberra Raiders in February 2016 and played for the club's feeder team, the Mount Pritchard Mounties.

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