Widnes Vikings have announced the signing of Papua New Guinea Rugby League World Cup star Kato Ottio from the Canberra Raiders.
The 23-year-old becomes the second player this week to earn a Super League deal on the back of an impressive showing at the World Cup, following Fiji prop Ben Nakubuwai's move to Salford.
Ottio, 23, collected the Winger of the Year award in the NSW Cup, with the Canberra Times newspaper saying that he “stamped himself as a try-scoring freak, making 22 line-breaks and 99 tackle busts” in his breakout season. Canberra Raiders described Ottio as “possessing a lethal combination of size and speed, which caused plenty of problems for opposition defences all season long.”
Denis Betts, Head Coach of Widnes Vikings, says: “Kato is a fantastic signing, who we are delighted to welcome to Widnes Vikings. He is a big outside back, with World Cup experience. I am excited by the quality that he will add to our edges. He is relishing his opportunity to play in the Super League, and is looking to make a big impression at Widnes Vikings.”
“Kato is a player whose qualities we have seen during the World Cup. I have also spoken to several people in the NRL and connected to Canberra Raiders during my time at the tournament, who rate him very highly. It is exciting for us to follow the recent signing of Krisnan Inu with another talented outside back, who will add competition and quality to the team.
“These deals have been made possible thanks to everyone who has strengthened the club by signing up for 2018 Viking Stronghold Membership, as well as the generous backing of VIQI. We are continuing to explore further transfer targets to improve the team. Everyone who invests in this Club, whether that’s by signing up for Membership or becoming a commercial partner, makes a real contribution to these efforts. I grateful to everyone who has supported us to build for 2018.”