Shock death of NRL hopeful Ottio

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He was selected into the Hunters 2014-2015 train-on Squad from the Southern Confederate team.

A former Volleyball representative, his tall lanky physique proved to be trouble for his opposition on the field, as he hurtled towards their defence.

Ottio was expected to travel to England next week to get ready for the start of the new Super League season in February having signed for Widnes from Canberra in December.

Ottio never played an NRL game, but led the try scoring during the 2016 NSW Cup for Mounties and scored a try in last year's World Cup.

His impressive performances at the Zone Championships raised a certain number of eyebrows and Ottio was named in the National Zone All Stars to play the Digicel Cup All Stars in the curtain-raiser before the Prime Ministers' XIII clash in October 2014 - he also ended up being used as a substitute by the PNG PM's XIII against Australia PM's XIII.

His 2017 season was clouded with injuries, and he spent half the year in rehabilitation, recovering from a knee injury.

"But Kato told a few of the players "let's run back" - he wanted to use the professionalism he gained from his time at Canberra to rub off on his younger countrymen". It is a trip, he won't be making.

Social Media was flooded with Condolence messages from people across Papua New Guinea.

"We must be patient and as we mourn this sudden passing, and commemorate the life of an outstanding Papua New Guinean".

Marum said Ottio will always be remembered for his humility and consistency to training.

"We suspended Hunters training effective as of yesterday when we saw that he (Kato) wasn't well". 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.

Ottio's cause of death is still unknown, and will be confirmed by Medical staff at a later date.