January 11, 2018

Kato voluntarily joined Hunters training

Papua New Guinea Rugby Football League chairman Sandis Tsaka says Kato Ottio voluntarily joined the SP PNG Hunters training, but was not part of the Hunters team when he collapsed last Sunday.

He said that the Hunters team had a very high standard of training and medical checkups before they trained.

“PNGRFL, the Hunters and the Kumuls, we have very high standards. The program we have for the past five years is of high standard. Before players go into the camp and training, a doctor is assigned to the team full time for both Kumuls and Hunters, monitoring the boys and making sure their health is in check.

“This was an unfortunate incident, Kato was not part of the Hunters but just joined the boys for a training run on Sunday which led to the incident. When we find out on the details of what happened we will be able to inform you. But as a club and a sporting organisation we have very high standards,” Tsaka said.

Hunters coach Michael Marum said Kato Ottio passed the medical exam to play in the World Cup and also to join the Widnes Vikings, but they need to find out what the young man was doing after he passed the medical exams to the time he came to join the team for the 7km run on Sunday.

“The first thing we have is medical checkups, and once you fail that then you are gone. We didn’t know what he was doing before he came to training the night before or hours before,” Marum said.

He said the Hunters training has been suspended indefinitely until the players recover from the tragic loss of their former teammate.

“I will call for training to start when I see everything is okay,” Marum said, adding that many players who had played with him in the past two, three years where in mourning for the past two days in hospital, including the family.