The rugby league community are mourning the passing of Cook Islands international Troy Dargan who has sadly lost his life at the age of 26.
Dargan, who had recently joined Canberra Raiders ahead of the upcoming NRL season, passed away on Christmas Eve following a motorcycle accident whilst holidaying with his family in the Cook Islands.
The heartbreaking news was released via a statement on social media from Aria Management Group, who Dargan was a client of.
The statement read: “Troy Junior (TJ) Dargan.
“On behalf of the Dargan family, it is with a heavy heart that we share the news of TJ’s tragic passing over night.
“He and his family were holidaying in the Cook Island where TJ was involved in a motorcycle accident.
“TJ was not only an @ariasportsgroup client but a long time friend and great mate.
“He is currently a Canberra Raider and formerly a member of Manly Sea Eagles, Souths Rabbitohs, Brisbane Broncos and Parramatta Eels.
“TJ is a beloved son to Troy and Wendy, loving brother to Tamalee and Korokai, and friend to many many others. The family have asked for privacy at this very devastating time. TJ will he greatly missed and our thoughts and prayers are with his family.”
Tributes made to Troy Dargan
The Sydney-born half-back made his NRL debut for South Sydney Rabbitohs in 2020, making two first-grade appearance for the club that season.
Dargan played for the Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles in the New South Wales Cup in 2023 before linking up with Canberra on a supplementary contract last month.
The playmaker, who was of Cook Islander and Indigenous heritage, also spent time with Brisbane Broncos and Parramatta Eels.
Dargan made his international debut for the Cook Islands in 2019, winning two caps for the Kukis.
Raiders chief executive Don Furner said: “This is a very sad time for Troy’s family and friends, and we will be respecting their privacy and offering support where we can, to help them at this tough time.
“Troy was just 26 years old, and we were looking forward to him having the opportunity to further his NRL career with our club.
“The news is also very sad for Troy’s current team-mates, and we will be offering support to any of them who need it at this time.”
The Cook Islands’ official rugby league account posted on Instagram: ‘RIP to our brother, our condolences are with your family at this tough time.”
‘Always a part of the Broncos family’
Brisbane Broncos posted on X: “The Broncos are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Troy Dargan. Our thoughts are with his family, friends and loved ones. Always part of the Broncos family.”
‘He was a popular player and had a great connection with many of our junior players and staff’
Parramatta Eels posted on their website: “The Parramatta Eels are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Troy Dargan.
“Troy was an Eels junior who played in our pathways system and in two NRL trials in 2017.
“He was a popular player and had a great connection with many of our junior players and staff.
“On behalf of everyone at the club we would like to send our thoughts to Troy’s family and friends at this difficult time.”
‘He was a man of great integrity and values’
Manly Sea Eagles chief executive Tony Mestrov said: “On behalf of the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles and Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles, our club extends its deepest condolences to Troy’s family.
“Troy was a very well respected and popular member of the playing squad over the past two seasons.
“He was a man of great integrity and values, who worked very hard to not only be a better player, but just as importantly, a kind and genuine man.
“Troy was always smiling, even when injuries tested his resilience.
“Troy also did some great work in the community where he made many friends through his positive energy.
“He will be sadly missed by everyone at the Sea Eagles.”
The Rabbitohs and the entire rugby league community are mourning the passing of former player Troy Dargan. To see how you can support his family during this difficult time, click the go fund me link below: https://t.co/1fNvk6axhu #1156 🐇❤️💚 pic.twitter.com/J1SCmB780P
— South Sydney Rabbitohs 🐰 (@SSFCRABBITOHS) December 26, 2023
GoFundMe page set up to help bring Troy home
Dargan’s loved ones have set up a GoFundMe page to help bring him home from the Cook Islands, with more than $55,000 AUD raised at the time of writing this article.
To see how you can support Dargan and his family at this difficult time, please visit https://www.gofundme.com/f/bring-our-tj-home