Page last updated at 14:46 GMT, Monday, 13 October 2008 15:46 UK

Rugby league player dies suddenly

Adam Watene
Adam Watene played for Bradford Bulls before joining the Wildcats

Wakefield Wildcats prop Adam Watene has died "suddenly and unexpectedly" after collapsing during a training session, the West Yorkshire club said.

The 31-year-old Cook Islands international is believed to have collapsed after training in the gym.

A short statement from the Super League club said: "The Wakefield Trinity Wildcats are sad to announce the sudden passing of Adam Watene.

"The circumstances surrounding Adam's death were sudden and unexpected."

The statement added: "Everyone at the Wildcats' thoughts are with Adam's family, and we ask for their privacy to be respected at this difficult time."

A former Castleford front-rower, Watene joined the Wildcats in 2006 after a short stint with Bradford.

The forward's talent was recognised during Castleford's successful 2005 promotion campaign, but he made only five first-team appearances before being allowed to join the Wildcats.

606: DEBATE

In April Watene was given compassionate leave to travel to New Zealand following the death of his father.

Wakefield coach John Kear dedicated their win over Huddersfield in his absence to Watene and his family. He is survived by his wife and two children.

BBC Sport's Dave Woods told Radio 5 Live: "He was one of the most popular players at the club and in the city of Wakefield.

"Adam Watene's death is the third tragedy to hit Wakefield in a year that has also seen the death of two of the club's ex-playing legends, David Topliss and Don Fox."

RFL Chief Executive Nigel Wood paid tribute to Watene, saying: "Adam served a number of clubs with distinction during his career and will be sadly missed.

"During his two years at Wakefield, he made a massive impression and was instrumental in helping the club stay in engage Super League in 2006.

"We are shocked and saddened to hear of his sudden and unexpected death, and we would like to send our sincere condolences to his family at this sad time."

Bradford Bulls chairman Peter Hood said: “It is always a tragedy when any young life is lost.

"Although he was not here for long, Adam became part of the extended Bulls 'family'. We are deeply shocked and all our thoughts are with Adam's family at this most difficult of times."



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