Damian McKenzie re-commits to New Zealand Rugby and Chiefs until end of 2023 season

Damian McKenzie has played 40 times for New Zealand
Damian McKenzie has played 40 times for New Zealand

All Blacks playmaker Damian McKenzie has committed his immediate future with New Zealand Rugby and Chiefs after signing a contract extension until the end of 2-23 season.

McKenzie started his professional rugby career with provincial side Waikato in 2014 before making his Super Rugby debut with Chiefs a year later.

Since then he has gone on to play 95 times for Chiefs and would be appearing for Waikato in the upcoming Bunnings NPC after spending the last season with Japanese club Tokyo Sungoliath.

The 27-year-old made his New Zealand debut in 2016 and has been capped 40 times but wasn't eligible for the All Blacks squad named earlier this week for the series against Ireland.

“I really enjoyed my time in Japan, but it’s great to be home among family and friends and I can’t wait to get back on the field and reconnect with teammates and coaches in New Zealand," he said.

"I’m passionate about Waikato, the Gallagher Chiefs and the All Blacks and if I’m lucky enough to wear any of those jerseys again I’ll give it everything.”

New Zealand Rugby General Manager Professional Rugby & Performance Chris Lendrum is delighted with McKenzie returning back to the All Blacks and Chiefs.

“It’s a positive for rugby in New Zealand anytime a player of Damian’s quality and experience returns to New Zealand, and he will add a lot to the team’s he represents.

"He’s refreshed, he’s excited about playing for Waikato and the Chiefs, and he is as passionate as ever about pushing for higher honours, which is great. No doubt fans will be pleased to see him back on the field in whatever jersey he has on.”