Damian Sinclair McKenzie, born on 20 April 1995, is a talented New Zealand rugby union player known for his versatility as a fullback and First five-eighth. He currently represents Waikato in the Bunnings NPC competition and the Chiefs in Super Rugby. McKenzie has made significant contributions to the New Zealand national team, earning 40 test caps since his international debut in 2016.
McKenzie's professional career began with Waikato in the Bunnings NPC. He quickly caught the attention of the Chiefs franchise and has been contracted to them for Super Rugby since the start of the 2015 season. Notably, he holds the record for the highest points scored by a Chiefs player in the history of the team.
McKenzie represented New Zealand Under-20 in the 2014 IRB Junior World Championship, showcasing his skills as a potent scorer with one try, seven conversions, and two penalties in five games. His outstanding performances in Super Rugby during the 2016 season earned him a call-up to the All Blacks squad for the June Internationals.
In October 2016, McKenzie made his debut for the All Blacks off the bench in a match against Argentina, which resulted in a 36-17 victory. Having been part of the All Blacks training squad since May, he made his first starting appearance in November against Italy, contributing to a dominant 68-10 win.
Although initially left out of the New Zealand squad for the Lions series, McKenzie's inclusion became necessary after an injury to Ben Smith in the first Test. He stepped up and played a crucial role in covering Smith's absence.
In 2018, McKenzie's exceptional performances led to him being named the SANZAAR Player of the Season for the third consecutive year. He topped the charts for carries, metres gained, and defenders beaten in the 2017 Super Rugby season. Additionally, he ranked in the top three for clean breaks and points scored.
In March 2018, McKenzie signed a new deal with New Zealand Rugby, committing to the national body and the Chiefs club until 2021. Unfortunately, his 2019 Super Rugby season was cut short when he tore his ACL, preventing him from being considered for the 2019 Rugby World Cup selection. However, he had already accumulated 21 test caps and remains determined to earn a spot back in the All Blacks squad.
McKenzie was named in the Chiefs squad for the 2020 Super Rugby season, having already amassed 72 appearances and an impressive 638 points. With his versatility, skill, and commitment to the game, McKenzie continues to make significant contributions to both his club and the national team.
Ahead of the Rugby World Cup 2023, McKenzie has been named in the squad for New Zealand.
|2015 - present
|2014 - present
|2016 - present
|Christ College NZ
|New Zealand U20's
|2014 - 2014
|Maori All Blacks
|2015 - 2017
|2020 - 2020
|2022 - 2022
|2022 - 2023
|All Black XV
|2022 - 2023