The Canberra Raiders have signed PNG international volleyball star Kato Ottio to a two-year deal for the 2016 and 2017 NRL seasons. The 21-year-old joined the Raiders on a train and trial contract at the end of last season after playing for the PNG Hunters in the Queensland Cup.
Ottio’s efforts were rewarded with a spot at the Auckland Nines and he also came on in the second half of last weekend’s 34-28 trial win against the Newcastle Knights in Orange.Ottio is likely to be used on the wing for the Raiders, but can also play in the centres and the second row.
His signing is going to boost the Raiders’ profile in PNG, which is the only country in the world where rugby league is the national sport. Ottio only began playing rugby league at the end of 2014 after he was spotted during a rugby sevens tournament.
A former PNG volleyball representative, Ottio has the physical attributes to compete in the NRL as shown at the Nines.His signing adds to the Raiders’ depth in the outside backs.Sisa Waqa and Edrick Lee are expected to get first crack at the wing spots for the season opener against the Penrith Panthers on March 5 at Canberra Stadium.