It is with great sadness that we hear of the passing of rugby league and Bears legend Olsen Filipaina, the Big O. He lost the fight today after battling kidney failure over the last fortnight at Westmead Hospital, aged 64.

The Big O was a champion of rugby league both on the field and off, as he challenged racism in the game and spoke openly about the challenges he faced. Olsen played for the Bears in 1986 & 1987 and was a renowned Kiwi International. His famous toe kick, big smile and great sense of humour will be remembered by all.

We send our condolences to the Filipaina Family, our thoughts are with you.

It was such an honour to have Olsen feature on our Bears Banter in 2020, do yourself a favour and take a listen to this great man as he chats with Greg Florimo