Rugby | SPORTS

Willie Los’e Dies In Cape Town

Former rugby international and sports broadcaster Wil­lie Los’e has died at the age of 55.
09 Sep 2022 15:00
Willie Los’e Dies In Cape Town
Willie Los’e is no longer with us after he died in Cape Town, South Africa. Photo: World Rugby

Former rugby international and sports broadcaster Wil­lie Los’e has died at the age of 55.

Los’e- who died in South Africa where he was due to commen­tate the Rugby World Cup Sevens tournament- played for the New Zealand Under-21 side and later captained Tonga at the 1995 Rug­by World Cup, playing all three pool games.

In a statement, his family said he was “a proud West Aucklander”.

“The Los’e whānau would like to thank Karl Te Nana, Bailey Mackey and World Rugby boss Steve Jamieson for contacting us directly from South Africa this morning (yesterday) relating to the sudden passing of our broth­er Willie.

“We ask that as a whānau, we be given time to process and work through our devastating loss and the logistics of repatriation of our brother, father, uncle, son home. We are awaiting details from Cape Town.

“Thanks to Steve Jamieson who has spoken to the New Zealand High Commission, who will be heading to Cape Town tomorrow (today) to help with the repatria­tion of Willie’s body to bring him home to Aotearoa.

“We as a whānau are thankful to all Willie’s friends from around the world who have sent their condolences and support.


Just a glance

Playing as a lock and loose for­ward, Willie Los’e represented Auckland, North Harbour and Marlborough in the old National Provincial Championship from 1990 to 2001, while having a stint in Japan with Yamaha Jubilo.

After his playing career, Los’e was a host with Radio Sport and ZB, and a rugby commentator for Gold Sport and Sky TV.

Los’e attended Kelston Boys High School where he was Head Prefect and played alongside Va’aiga Tuigamala in the 1st XV.

His family said captaining Ton­ga had been a career highlight.

That was backed up by his com­ments in an interview with fellow rugby commentator Keith Quinn on Quinn’s blog.

“Firstly, I’ll go for two of my very proudest moments? That’s easy. Becoming a dad for the first and second time were days I will never forget.

“Then in a rugby sense playing my first test at the Rugby World Cup in South Africa in 1995. It was Tonga v France at Loftus Versfeld Ground in Pretoria.

“I cried right through the Ton­gan National anthem – I just wished and wished my parents had been still alive to have been there.”

Quinn also asked Los’e about his motto in life.

“I’ve always liked the little ex­pression I heard first years ago; ‘Put your hand Up not out.’ I reck­on that has worked for me.”

And his idea of perfect happi­ness? “Being with mates, friends and family with lots of love and laughter…Perfect!”

NZME chief radio officer Jason Winstanley said Los’e had been a respected member of the Radio Sport and Newstalk ZB teams, re­nowned for his humour and gen­erosity.

Los’e had been commentating and providing expert analysis for Gold Sport broadcasts of this sea­son’s NPC rugby matches.

“Willie was a fixture on the air­waves for many years – his love for the sports he covered was clear to all listeners,” said Win­stanley.

“He brought unique insights to rugby analysis and was especial­ly supportive and encouraging of young staff.”


Got A News Tip

Get updates from the Fiji Sun, handpicked and delivered to your inbox.

By entering your email address you're giving us permission to send you news and offers. You can opt-out at any time.

For All Fiji Sun Advertising
Fijisun E-edition