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‘Rising star’ will be missed


Good friend and colleague

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People all over Wairarapa were in mourning yesterday after police confirmed they had recovered the body of missing Carterton man, Finn Yeats.

The discovery was made on Monday afternoon in Tongariro after a week-long search for the 20-year-old.

His death is not considered suspicious and will be referred to the Coroner.

His mother, Tracy Thomas, realised he was missing last Tuesday and became highly concerned on Wednesday after realising he had been absent from work and had deleted his social media page.

Yeats was a keen sportsman who made his debut with the Wairarapa-Bush rugby team last year and was named in the 2018 Hurricanes Heartland Under 20s team.

He played in the Rathkeale College 1st XV after his JAB with Carterton Rugby Club, and went on to play his 2018 season with Greytown Rugby Club as winger and fullback.

Greytown Rugby Club coach Eli Telford said Yeats was a “fearless defender” with “pace to burn”.

“He had all the potential in the world, not only on the rugby field,” Telford said.

“With some changes this year and some of the senior players leaving, he was earmarked to take over and fly the flag a little bit.”

He said although Yeats was hampered by injury, it didn’t prevent him from being there for his teammates.

“You knew you always got 110 per cent from him no matter what.”

Telford said the “awesome kid” was an integral part of the team who will be sorely missed.

“On behalf of the rugby club I just want to express my gratitude to the family for sharing him with us for the brief time he was with us.

“I’m going to miss the fella – he’s gone way too soon.”

A tribute on behalf of Wairarapa-Bush chief executive, Tony Hargood, was one of many posted on the rugby club’s Facebook page on Tuesday, expressing the club’s sadness over the loss.

“Finn was a rising star who played his way into the Wairarapa Bush Heartland team in 2018 and featured heavily in the semifinals and the finals of the Lochore Cup,” it said.

Yeats’ boss, Sam Edridge, said Yeats had only been working for him for the past year but had made an impact on the team in the short time with them.

“He became a really good friend and colleague,” Edridge said.

“We really love him and we’ll miss him, we’re just doing it pretty tough right now.

“We’re really, really sorry for the family.”

Where to get help

Lifeline: 0800 543 354

Kidsline: 0800 543 754 54 [0800 KIDSLINE] supporting under 18 yrs

Youthline: 0800 376 633, free text 234 B0800 942 8787 [supports 5-18 yr olds, 1pm-11pm]

Women’s Refuge Crisis Line: 0800 733 843

Depression Helpline: 0800 111 757

Samaritans: 0800 726 666

Healthline: 0800 611 116

Outline NZ: 0800 688 5463 [0800 OUTLINE] sexuality and gender identity issues

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