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Rugby league star dies, aged 23

R.I.P: Kato Ottio (Photo credit: Getty Images)

WIDNES VIKINGS star Kato Ottio has died suddenly at the age of 23.

It is being reported that Ottio died after suffering "a sudden health issue" in training.

Ottio joined Widnes from Canberra in December 2017 and was part of the Papua New Guinea side which lost to England in November's World Cup quarter-finals.

According to BBC Sport, he was due to travel to the UK next week in preparation for the start of the Super League season in February.

"Kato was an incredibly talented player, with a bright future," Widnes chief executive James Rule 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," Widnes head coach Denis Betts added.

"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 won six caps for Papua New Guinea, scoring one try in four appearances to help them reach the last eight at the 2017 World Cup.

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