Damian McKenzie to leave Chiefs ahead of 2022 season confirms chief executive Michael Collins

Damian McKenzie is rumoured to be heading to Japan
Damian McKenzie is rumoured to be heading to Japan

Chiefs chief executive Michael Collins has confirmed that All Blacks' Damian McKenzie will not be part of the club for the 2022 season.

The news follows after the club revealed that Josh Ioane will be joining the club after the club managed to seek an early release from rivals Highlanders.

McKenzie's contract with Chiefs was set to expire at the end of the year and is now linked with a move to Japanese club Suntory as a replacement for Beauden Barrett.

“Look, all I know is Damian’s not going to be with us, at the moment that’s all I can sort of comment on,” Collins told Stuff on Tuesday.

The 26-year-old made his provincial rugby debut with Waikato in 2014 with his Super Rugby debut for Chiefs coming a year later. Since then he has gone on to play 95 times for the club.

He has also featured in 32 Tests for New Zealand since his international debut in 2016 against Argentina in which he has amassed 93 points including 14 tries.