Leeds Rhinos star Zane Tetevano, 32, set for major heart surgery after suffering stroke in training | The Sun

Leeds Rhinos star Zane Tetevano, 32, set for major heart surgery after suffering stroke in training | The Sun

June 14, 2023

ZANE TETVANO hopes to play Rugby League again after suffering a STROKE in training.

The Leeds prop was later diagnosed with a hole in his heart, which caused the medical emergency during a session.

But the 32-year-old former New Zealand international, does hold out hope of taking to the field once he's recovered from surgery to repair the condition.

Tetevano, who will take part in Sunday’s Leeds 10k, 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 a lot, 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."


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Leeds’ 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.

“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.

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The New Zealander hopes to play again after his surgeryCredit: Getty

"This is a great opportunity to do something with Zane that supports his physical and mental well being."

Leeds boss Rohan Smith also believes he may be able to call on Tetevano, who is out of contract at the end of the season.

He said: “He’s in and around training and he’s got a smile on his face. He’s just restricted to not being able to train fully.

“He can do moderate low intensity exercise, which for a Rugby League player is not that stimulating but that’s where he’s at for now.

“It’s possible he could play again this year but we don’t want to get too far ahead of ourselves. His health and longevity as a human is more important than playing.”

Tetevano was saved from more severe consequences by the quick actions of Leeds’ medical team when he suffered his stroke.

He was then whisked to the city’s General Infirmary and their swift treatment also helped to his recovery.

Rhinos’ head of medical Services Vas Mani said: “We are now focusing on the next stage of his treatment and will continue to support Zane during the coming weeks.

“He has been very positive throughout this challenging time which is a testament to his character.

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“We expect Zane to make a full recovery and be medically fit to return to play before the end of the season."

After the drama, Tetevano has set up a fundraising page to support the Children’s Heart Surgery Fund, which supports children and adults born with congenital heart defects across Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire at https://justgiving.com/page/zane-tetevano-1686739815576.

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