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18th Jun 2024

New Zealand rugby player Connor Garden-Bachop dies aged 25

Callum Boyle

Connor Garden-Bachop

He was the nephew of scrum-half Graeme Bachop

New Zealand rugby international Connor Garden-Bachop has died at the age of 25.

A statement from New Zealand rugby revealed that the winger had died in Christchurch on Monday following a “medical event”.

Born to father Stephen Bachop, who played for the Samoa and New Zealand international sides and mother Sue Garden-Bachop, played for the New Zealand women’s team, the Black Ferns, the 25-year-old grew up surrounded by rugby.

His uncle was scrum-half Graeme Bachop who played for the All Blacks at the 1991 and 1995 World Cups, and for Japan at the 1999 tournament.

Garden-Bachop played for Super Rugby outlet Highlanders for five years before leaving earlier this month after they were beaten at the quarter final stages.

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

“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 team-mate with infectious energy and someone who could light up the room.”

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