New Zealand Rugby Star Connor Garden-Bachop Passes Away

The New Zealand Rugby Union pro, Connor Garden-Bachop, who played for the Highlanders and Māori All Blacks, has tragically passed away following a “medical event.” He was part of the Highlanders’ Super Rugby Pacific squad this season and died on Monday.

Family Background and Personal Life

Connor was the son of former All Blacks player Stephen Bachop and Black Fern athlete Sue Garden-Bachop. He leaves behind his twin daughters, who are now without their devoted father.

Career and Achievements

Connor Garden-Bachop was known for his dynamic playing style and commitment to the sport. His career included significant contributions to both the Highlanders in the Super Rugby Pacific and the Māori All Blacks. He was celebrated for his infectious energy and popularity among teammates and fans alike.

Official Statements

New Zealand Rugby and Highlanders Joint Statement

In a joint statement with the Highlanders, New Zealand Rugby confirmed Connor’s death to the New Zealand Herald. They described him as a “fantastic young player” and a “committed and popular teammate with infectious energy.”

Māori All Blacks Statement

The Māori All Blacks issued a heartfelt statement: “On behalf of the entire rugby community, the Highlanders, Wellington Rugby, New Zealand Rugby, the New Zealand Māori Rugby Board and the New Zealand Rugby Players Association, we extend our deepest thoughts and love to the Garden-Bachop family. Connor was a fantastic young player, an exciting New Zealand age-grade representative, and a proud Māori All Black. He will be remembered as a popular teammate among the Māori All Blacks, Highlanders, and Wellington.”

Community and Teammates Remember

Connor Garden-Bachop’s passing has deeply affected the rugby community. Teammates and fans have taken to social media and other platforms to share their condolences and memories of the young star. His legacy as a talented player and beloved friend will continue to inspire and be remembered by all who knew him.


The tragic death of Connor Garden-Bachop is a significant loss to the New Zealand rugby community. As a player, he was admired for his skill and enthusiasm; as a person, he was loved for his warm personality and dedication to his family and friends. Our deepest condolences go out to the Garden-Bachop family during this incredibly difficult time.

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