Damian McKenzie

The versatile and upbeat Damian McKenzie has taken things up a gear in 2016 and has been one of the standout players in Investec Super Rugby.

A player with many strings to his bow, McKenzie originally specialised at first five-eighth but was a stand-out in the New Zealand Under 20 team's campaign at the 2014 Junior World Championship, where he played at fullback. He has impressed in that position in 2016 for the Chiefs, where he has also performed goal-kicking duties. His form in 2016 simply couldn't be ignored by the All Blacks selectors and he was rewarded with a Test debut against Argentina in Buenos Aires.

McKenzie, who is affiliated to Ngati Tuwharetoa, caught the eye of the Maori All Blacks selectors with some assured performances for the Chiefs in 2015. He has also played for the Chiefs Development team in 2014, New Zealand Secondary Schools in 2013 and the New Zealand Schools Barbarians in 2012.

He won the New Zealand Age Group Player of the Year at the 2014 Steinlager Rugby Awards. The versatile player with a strong skill set, specialises at first five-eighth and was a stand-out in the New Zealand U20’s campaign at the 2014 IRB Junior World Cup where he played at fullback.

The son of dairy farmers, McKenzie was born in Invercargill and educated at Christ's College, Christchurch. He played for the Chiefs in the 2015 Investec Super Rugby competition, and caught the eye with some assured performances. McKenzie has played for the Chiefs Development team in 2014, the New Zealand Secondary Schools in 2013 and the New Zealand Schools Barbarians in 2012.

He made his domestic debut for Waikato in 2014, winning their Emerging Representative Player of the Year.

First Five-Eighths
1.77m, 78kg
Test Debut:
v Argentina 1 October 2016
Test Points Breakdown:
Test Points:
Super Rugby Team:
Super Rugby Debut:
2015 v Blues

Career Comments

  • Position: First five
    Other positions played: Fullback
    Now living in: Hamilton
    Home town: Gore
    Secondary School: Christ's College
    Club team: University
    Academy: Waikato
    Previously represented NZ: Barbarians 2012, Secondary Schools 2013
    Studying or work outside rugby: Bachelor of Communication Studies
    Other sports: Golf
    Teams captained: Christ's College 1st XV
    Career notes (National Rep Teams or Awards in Sport):

    New Zealand Barbarians Schools 2012
    New Zealand Secondary Schools 2013
    Chiefs Development 2014
    Waikato academy 2014
    Christ's College 1st XV 2011


    Favourite Rugby ground: Upper Christ's College

    Favourite rugby player and why: Ben Smith. Always a threat when he has ball in hand. Great leader and role model for the game.

    Earliest or best rugby memories: Pie and Fizzy after club footy

    Biggest influence on your rugby and why: My parents. Growing up i always went to watch Dad play. He taught me all the basics of footy. Was always there to give me advice on what i needed to do to be a better player. Mum and Dad have always been supportive of me and are always following me around to come support.

    On your itunes /iphone playlist: Ed Sheeran/Chase And Status

    Non-rugby sports team: Brooklyn Nets

    Sporting hero: Roger Federer

    If you could meet one person, who would it be and why: Michael Jordan. Greatest Basketball Player of all time. Would be interesting listening to his experiences and stories through his time in the NBA

    I hate it when…. i lose my phone

    I can’t live without….. my phone

    If I wasn’t a rugby player I would be…. horse trainer

Test Match record

(+) subsitute(-) replaced

1 October v Argentina at Buenos Aires 36-17 (+)
12 November v Italy at Rome 68-10

19 August v Australia at Sydney 54-34 (-)
26 August v Australia at Dunedin 35-29
9 September v Argentina at New Plymouth 39-22
16 September v South Africa at Albany 57-0
1 October v Argentina at Buenos Aires 36-10
8 October v South Africa 25-24
21 October v Australia at Brisbane 18-23
11 November v France at Paris 38-18 (-)
18 November v Scotland 22-17
25 November v Wales at Cardiff 33-18