BREAKING: Rugby commentator Willie Los’e dies suddenly before World Cup Sevens tournament

BREAKING: Rugby commentator Willie Los'e dies suddenly before World Cup Sevens tournament

BREAKING: Rugby commentator Willie Los'e dies suddenly before World Cup Sevens tournament. Image: @Disincctt/Twitter

HEARTBREAK in the world of rugby on Thursday, September 8 following the announcement that rugby commentator and former player Willie Los’e has died suddenly, a day before he was due to commentate at the Rugby World Cup Sevens tournament in South Africa.

Former rugby international and popular sports commentator Willie Los’e has died suddenly at the age of 55, according to his family.

He was due to commentate on the Rugby World Cup Sevens tournament 2022 which starts in South Africa on Friday, September 9.

His family said: “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 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 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.”

Tributes flooded social media following the news of the sudden death of Willie Los’e, who was captain of the Tonga side that featured at the 1995 Rugby World Cup.

The All Blacks wrote: “On the field, he was tough and uncompromising, off it he was a respected and renowned voice. Willie Los’e, you will be missed by the rugby family. Rest in Peace Willie. 🖤🇹🇴”

Sky Sports New Zealand wrote: “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 whānau at this time 🖤”

“Awfully sad news about Willie Los’e passing away. We’ll start the show by paying tribute to the big man. Thoughts and prayers with his family and friends❤️” said Martin Devlin.

Greg Clark wrote: “So sad to hear that our great mate Willie Los’e has passed away in Cape Town while preparing to call @WorldRugby7s. So many great memories on the 7s commentary circuit. Another gone too soon. Thoughts are with his Family and many friends. RIP Willie.”

Fans paid tribute on social media.

One person wrote: “RIP Willie Los’e. One of the funniest things I’ve heard was Willie on a diatribe about NZRFU board members and he said they were all on the “gravy stroke”. He was a good sport.”

Another person said: “So sad to hear that Willie Los’e has died. I will remember him as the best and most hilarious RPM instructor ever. 😢”

“I can’t quite believe Willie Los’e is no longer with us. Top bloke, cracking colleague, always with a smile and time for a yarn. Too soon. I’ll miss his presence and his unique style. RIP big man,” said another person.

Sean Maloney wrote: “The Rugby World lost a really, really special one today in Willie Los’e. He showed many of us the way in commentary and was always smiling when he did. A great man who genuinely loved the game and who will be deeply and sadly missed.”

“So sad to hear of the passing of Willie Los’e, one of the great characters of rugby and the media. Had the pleasure of working with him at the 2003 Rugby World Cup and was a regular on his Radio Sport shows back in the day. Colourful man, lively tourist, great human. #RIPWillie,” wrote Marc Hilton.

“R.I.P Willie Los’e 🐐🏉🖤#WillieLose,” said another.

The sudden death of Willie Los’e comes after the National Rugby League in Australia and New Zealand mourned the death of legendary player and coach Paul Green, who was found dead in his garage on Thursday, August 11.

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Written by

Matthew Roscoe

Originally from the UK, Matthew is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at