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Widnes Viking 'devastated' by death of 23 year old Kato Ottio

Heartbreaking news that Kato Ottio died after being taken ill in training Credit: PA

Widnes Vikings say they're devastated to hear of the death of 23 year old Kato Ottio, who was due to arrive in the UK this week to play for the club.

The Papua New Guinea international was taken ill during training yesterday.

We are devastated. Kato was an incredibly talented player, with a bright future ahead of him in rugby league.

– The Widnes chief executive James Rule

It's heart-breaking.

All of us saw at the World Cup saw the incredible gifts that Kato had, and his potential to forge a great career in rugby league.

– Widnes head coach Denis Betts, who is also assistant England coach

Devastated to hear the news of Kato's passing, some very fond memories with him from my time in Canberra.

Legend of a bloke. Will be truly missed and was a Superleague star in the making. My thoughts go out to his family. RIP Brother

– Huddersfield centre Jordan Turner, who played with Ottio in Australia


Warrington and Widnes prepare for new Super League season

Once again there'll be a lot of expectation on Warrington in this year's Super League after they've recruited well.

One of their biggest signings is Widnes Vikings' Kevin Brown. So what does that do to both clubs' ambitions?

Chris Hall has been finding out.


RL clubs ready for Super 8 shocks

The battle for a place in Super League begins with the launch of the Super 8s Qualifiers.

The competition sees the top four Championship clubs, led by Leigh Centurions, take on the bottom four Super League teams, including Widnes and Salford.

Widnes Vikings captain Kevin Brown signs new contract

Credit: PA Images

Widnes captain Kevin Brown has signed a new contract that will keep him with the Vikings until the end of 2018.

The 30-year-old stand-off, who made his Super League debut for Wigan in 2003, joined Widnes from Huddersfield on a four-year deal ahead of the 2013 season.

Brown, who has rediscovered the form that earned him three England caps in 2010, paid tribute to Widnes coach Denis Betts after signing his two-year contract extension.

He said:

It's an incredible feeling to have signed a new deal. I am really excited about having the chance to be part of something that's been building ever since I joined the club in 2013."

"I'm playing with some of the best mates that I've ever had in rugby and I couldn't be enjoying my rugby any more than I am at the moment."

"I cannot thank Denis enough for the way he has helped me. I think he has developed into one of the best British coaches in the game."

– Kevin Brown, Widnes Vikings captain

Brown took over the captaincy at the start of the season following the retirement of Jon Clarke and took his try tally to 13 in 11 matches with a hat-trick in the 38-16 win over Salford last Saturday.

His coach Denis Betts admitted he was delighted to be keeping hold of his captain:

Re-signing Kevin is a massive coup for the club. It's an amazing thing to have a player of his quality, who is spoken so highly of in the game, as the captain of this club and the main playmaker."

"He's part of our journey and he can see what we're trying to do and build in the future."

"He's a massive part of our future recruitment policy. Good players will always want to come and play with good players so it helps the group having Kevin as a figurehead of the team."

– Denis Betts, Widnes Coach

Watch: Exclusive look at the Super League kick off

Well tonight Super League is back.

It kicks off with a local derby as the Widnes Vikings take on the Wigan Warriors. Both teams are coached by former Wigan teammates. Two hardmen of the sport. We don't have any of those, so we sent Chris Hall to meet them.

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