New Zealand rugby star Connor Garden-Bachop dies at 25 after a "medical event"

New Zealand rugby star Connor Garden-Bachop dies at 25 after a “medical event”

Otago Highlanders back Connor Garden-Bachop has died at age 25 after an unspecified “medical event,” New Zealand Rugby said on Tuesday.

Police said they were called to the scene of a sudden death in Christchurch on Monday evening. It is not being treated as suspicious and will be referred to the coroner.

“Connor passed away on Monday following a medical event and rugby’s collective focus at this time is on supporting his family,” New Zealand Rugby said in a statement.

recent post on Instagram, Garden-Bachop praised the Dunedin-based team after what he called “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.”

Garden-Bachop’s elder brother, Jackson, 29, plays rugby in France with second tier club Brive.

The team expressed their condolences on social media.

“It is with huge sadness that we have learned of the death of Connor Garden-Bachop… all our thoughts are with his brother Jackson, his family and friends,” read the post.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.