Super Rugby in shock with player dead at 25

Super Rugby in shock with player dead at 25

This article originally appeared on Stuff and is reproduced with permission.

Highlanders rugby player Connor Garden-Bachop has died.

Garden-Bachop, an outside back, is the son of former All Black Stephen Bachop and former Black Fern Sue Garden-Bachop who died in 2009 after a long battle with cancer.

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He is also the nephew of former All Black Graeme Bachop.

The 25-year-old, who also played for the Wellington Lions and Canterbury in the NPC, debuted for the Highlanders in 2021 and was awarded the club’s Rookie of the Year.

Connor Garden-Bachop of the Highlanders.

Connor Garden-Bachop of the Highlanders. Getty

He was also selected for the Māori All Blacks in 2022, making his debut during a two-test series against Ireland.

The Highlanders posted on Facebook last week announcing several players who were confirmed as not returning for the team next season, including Garden-Bachop.

Garden-Bachop posted on Instagram several days ago thanking the Highlanders 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 #300.”

Garden-Bachop is survived by two daughters.

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