New Zealand rugby player Connor Garden-Bachop, 25, dies after 'medical event'

18 June 2024, 17:06

Rugby Union player Connor Garden-Bachop has died at the age of 25 after a 'medical event', New Zealand Rugby has confirmed.
Rugby Union player Connor Garden-Bachop has died at the age of 25 after a 'medical event', New Zealand Rugby has confirmed. Picture: Alamy

By Lauren Lewis

Rugby Union player Connor Garden-Bachop has died at the age of 25 after a 'medical event', New Zealand Rugby has confirmed.

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In a statement, New Zealand Rugby said he died "following a medical event" in Christchurch on Monday.

"All of rugby walks alongside the Garden-Bachop family at this time and we are collectively united in our grief," read the statement, which was also signed by the New Zealand Maori Rugby Board, the Highlanders, Wellington Rugby and the New Zealand Rugby Players' Association.

"Connor was a fantastic young player, an exciting New Zealand age-grade representative and a proud Maori All Black.

"Wherever he played, he was a committed and popular teammate with infectious energy and someone who could light up the room.

Connor Garden-Bachop had just ended a five-year spell with the Highlanders and had also played for the Maori All Blacks.
Connor Garden-Bachop had just ended a five-year spell with the Highlanders and had also played for the Maori All Blacks. Picture: Alamy

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The statement added: "Most importantly, he was a loving father to his twin girls, a brother, a son and immeasurably loved by all those who knew him."

The statement included a verse in the indigenous Maori language, which included the line "the rugby world weeps for you".

Garden-Bachop is the son of former All Black and Samoa outside-half Stephen and former Black Fern Sue.

The winger is also the nephew of ex-All Black scrum-half Graeme.

He had just ended a five-year spell with the Highlanders and had also played for the Maori All Blacks.

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