Highlanders Super Rugby and Māori All Blacks player Connor Garden-Bachop has died
Rock News
Rock News

Highlanders Super Rugby and Māori All Blacks player Connor Garden-Bachop has died

Thoughts are with his friends and family.

UPDATED: A cause of death has been confirmed.

Kiwi rugby star Connor Garden-Bachop has died at age 25. 

The Highlanders confirmed the outside back's death to the NZ Herald this morning.

The rugby community including the Highlanders, Wellington Rugby, New Zealand Rugby, the New Zealand Māori Rugby Board and the New Zealand Rugby Players Association have shared a statement following the death of the young player.

"The entire rugby community would like to extend our deepest thoughts and love to the Garden-Bachop family," the post began.

"Connor passed away on Monday following a medical event, and rugby’s collective focus at this time is on supporting his family."

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

Just 3 days ago, Connor posted on Instagram to thank the Highlanders for "an unforgettable five years" with the team.

“Thank you @highlandersteam for an unforgettable five years. Thank you to everyone in the South for making me feel at home, and thank you to the boys I have been honoured to share the field with, it’s been a pleasure, I will miss you all. Till next time,” he wrote.

This comes after the Highlanders announced his departure from the team late last week.

Tagging Connor in their post, the franchise wrote: "As we wrap up our 2024 season, we just want to take the opportunity to say thank you, goodbye and good luck to our players who are confirmed to finish up their time in the blue, gold and maroon jersey."

Connor is survived by his 3-year-old twin daughters.