Widnes Vikings

Albert glad to have PNG players in UK

He had initially played with them in the same team in PNG but this time, they will be competing against each other.

The 24-year-old, who is from a remote village near Mendi, Southern Highlands, expressed excitement after the signing of Ase and Watson Boas for the 2019 season of the Betfred Championship in England.

“I love playing alongside them but now I’ll play against them in (the) Championship,” said Albert.

“I love them coming over as well. Good to have PNG boys in England.”

PNGRFL thanks Widnes Vikings

He said the signing of Stanton will help Wellington a lot after the sudden loss of Kato Ottio.

“We know they are in good hands with the Vikings. Having Stanton there makes things a bit easier. It will really help in the transition process and to settle in quickly,” stated Rau.

“We are grateful to Widnes Vikings for this opportunity.”

Rau then wished the Albert brothers good luck this season.

“I’m proud of Wellington and Stanton and wish them and our other Kumuls boys all the best this season.

Vikings to wear tribute throughout campaign

The Club was approached by senior team members who wanted to show respect for their fallen teammate.

In response, a special ‘Kato 18’ shirt transfer has been created, which will be worn near the heart of the players’ shirts.

With a distinctive yellow and red design, in honour of the traditional colour of the Kumuls playing strip, the transfer is a fitting tribute to the late PNG international.

Vikings' DVD features Ottio tribute

All funds from sales of this video will support the fundraiser to assist the late Ottio’s family.

English rugby league club, Widnes Vikings, have really gone beyond the gesture of kindness, showing their deep affection for the rising Kumul player’s death.

Ottio was signed up by the English super league club following his superb performance at the Rugby League World Cup 2017 on home soil. Sadly, he passed away.

Albert brothers leave for UK

Close friends and family along with the PNG Rugby Football League were there to farewell the duo.

Wellington, 23 said: “I’m really grateful for the opportunity to play in the Super League. I’m also happy to have my brother alongside me.

“I want to thank the PNGRFL through the SP Hunters management and coach, Michael Marum for building me up.”

“I’m looking forward to this new challenge.”

Widnes sign Albert from PNG

Albert joins the Vikings following the sudden death of Kato Ottio who was due to travel to England on Thursday but dies of severe heatstroke in Papua New Guinea.

Widnes head coach Denis Betts said: "Stanton is a player that we have had real interest in, even before my time at the World Cup.

Vikings pay tribute to Ottio ahead of tonight’s game

The Late Ottio will be laid to rest at his mother’s village, Tatana, after a funeral mass set to take place this morning.

The team’s dressing room, ahead of this evening’s fixture, pays tribute to the young rising star.

Loop PNG has been told that tonight’s game will begin with a minute’s silence for Ottio. This will be the first of a series of tributes that they will be paying to their fallen teammate.

Widnes Vikings establish funding drive for Ottio

The phenomenal response has matched the overwhelming tragedy of a young man, on the verge of living his dream, being taken away from us too soon.

The club in a tribute stated that their “Our priority now turns to how we can celebrate the life of a member of our team, and support his family. Whilst Kato was yet to arrive in our town, he was, and always will be, a Viking”.

Remembering Kato

As a club, Widnes Vikings have committed to making a private donation to Kato’s family to support them at this difficult time.

Their site read:

Widnes Vikings: PNG’s talent could be seen in Kato

James Rule, the Chief Executive of Widnes Vikings in a statement spoke about the loss of Kato and expressed the clubs condolences.

“On behalf of Widnes Vikings, the club that was proud to be welcoming him into its family, I would like to take this opportunity to reach out to our friends In Papua New Guinea, who we are united with in grief.

“Widnes Vikings have long recognised the incredible playing talent within Papua New Guinea. Our belief in the players of your nation was affirmed by the incredible performance by the Kumuls at the Rugby League World Cup.


James Rule, CEO of Widnes Vikings, says: “We are devastated to learn that Kato Ottio has passed away this afternoon. Kato was an incredibly talented player, with a bright future ahead of him in Rugby League.