Rugby-Highlanders' Garden-Bachop dies at 25 after 'medical event'


  • Rugby
  • Tuesday, 18 Jun 2024

(Reuters) - Otago Highlanders outside back Connor Garden-Bachop died on Monday following a medical event, New Zealand Rugby said. He was 25.

Garden-Bachop, who made his Highlanders debut in 2021, was on the team's roster this season but parted ways with the Super Rugby Pacific club after their campaign finished in the quarter-finals.

He thanked the Highlanders on social media last week for an "unforgettable five years."

New Zealand Rugby and the Highlanders paid tribute to Garden-Bachop on Tuesday in a joint statement with the New Zealand Maori Rugby board and the country's players' association.

"All of rugby walks alongside the Garden-Bachop family at this time and we are collectively united in our grief," the statement said.

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

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

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

Garden-Bachop, who represented the Maori All Blacks in two tests against Ireland in 2022, was born into a family of rugby internationals.

His father, Stephen Bachop, played for Samoa and New Zealand and his mother, Sue Garden-Bachop, played for the New Zealand women's team, the Black Ferns.

His uncle, Graeme Bachop, played at two World Cups (1991, 1995) for the All Blacks and represented Japan at the global showpiece in 1999. His cousin, Aaron Mauger, was also a regular for the All Blacks in the early 2000s and coached the Highlanders from 2018-20.

(Reporting by Ian Ransom in Melbourne; Editing by Peter Rutherford)

Follow us on our official WhatsApp channel for breaking news alerts and key updates!
   

Next In Rugby

Rugby-Georgia should be on World Rugby's mind, says defiant coach
Rugby-Portugal select Moura at flyhalf for first meeting with Springboks
Rugby-Lengthy America tour a bonus for Scotland and coach Gregor Townsend
Rugby-Former All Black Hodgman in line for Australia debut against Georgia
Rugby-New Zealand name six uncapped players to face Fiji in San Diego
Rugby-France Rugby chief says player outing rules will be changed after arrests
Rugby-Springboks cast selection net wide for Portugal test
Rugby-All Blacks lock Tuipulotu rested for Fiji test in San Diego
Rugby-Former All Blacks hooker Hewitt dies at 55
Rugby-Springboks add five players to squad for Portugal test

Others Also Read