Leeds Rhinos star Zane Tetevano’s season sadly came to an abrupt conclusion when he sadly suffered a stroke through a hole in his heart.
With his deal coming to an end at the end of 2023, Tetevano was later released from his deal to return to Australia.
However, in a surprise twist he is set to return to the field for Cook Islands in the Pacific Championships.
He represented them in last year’s World Cup and is set to return to the pitch with them.
This comes after the cardiologist had advised that Tetevano could only continue non-impact aerobic training in order to maintain his fitness but he is not yet cleared to play contact sport after the stroke.
Tetevano has set up a JustGiving page to support the Children’s Heart Surgery Fund which supports children and adults born with congenital heart defects across Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire. Working alongside the Leeds Congenital Heart Unit at Leeds General Infirmary, the fund is well known for their annual Wear Red Day. Fans can support Zane’s fundraising here
Commenting on the news Tetevano said, “Firstly, I would like to thank the club’s medical staff, the paramedics, doctors and nurses who looked after me when I collapsed. I knew I was in the best possible care and I owe them alot, especially our medical team, who reacted so quickly on the field, I will never know how lucky I was. I am confident that I will be ready to return to action as soon as I am cleared to do so.”
Leeds Rhinos Performance Director Richard Hunwicks added, “Zane is one the fittest players at the club and someone for whom training is such a big part of his life. It is important that he continues to train to give himself the best possible chance of making a full recovery. As a performance department, we always aim to work to options that the players can do when they are in periods of rehabilitation. He is unable to do normal contact training because of the medication he is on whilst awaiting surgery and has to train at a lower intensity than he is used to. Mentally that can be a challenge for a professional athlete. The chance to take part in the Leeds 10k is a great way to lift his spirits and be part of a team whilst doing it. This is a great opportunity to do something with Zane that supports his physical and mental well being.”