Renowned New Zealand rugby commentator, Willie Los’e, has died in Cape Town.
Los’e, who worked for Sky Sport NZ, was 55.
He was in Cape Town preparing to commentate on the Rugby World Cup Sevens taking place in the city this weekend.
His employers confirmed the death in a social media post.
“We are very sorry to hear that Willie Los’e passed away last night in South Africa. Willie was a long-serving and highly-regarded member of the Sky Sport commentary team and the wider Sky family. Our thoughts and condolences are with Willie’s whanau at this time,” Sky Sport NZ posted.
According to New Zealand’s Stuff website, Los’e passed away from “a medical event”.
His family confirmed the death in a statement:
“The Los’e whanau would like to thank Karl Te Nana, Bailey Mackey and World Rugby boss Steve Jamieson for contacting us directly from South Africa this morning relating to the sudden passing of our brother Willie.
“We ask that as a whanau, 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 to help with the repatriation of Willie’s body to bring him home to Aotearoa.
“We as a whanau are thankful to all Willie’s friends from around the world who have sent to Willie’s friends from around the world who have sent their condolences and support.
“Nga mihi nui ki a koutou.”
During his playing days, Los’e played for New Zealand under-21s and three Tests for Tonga in 1995. The lock forward represented Auckland, North Harbour and Marlborough in New Zealand, while he also had a stint in Japan with Yamaha Jubilo.