Damian McKenzie

A player with many strings to his bow and dubbed the smiling assassin by commentators and fans, Damian McKenzie is an absolute livewire for the All Blacks, whether it’s fielding high kicks, kicking goals, sparking long-range counter attacks or slotting in on the wing or first five-eighth.
Despite his relatively small stature, he never shirks away from the heavy traffic and has made a trademark of spinning out of attempted tackles by larger opponents.
Originally from Invercargill and schooled in Christchurch, McKenzie played for New Zealand Schools in 2013 and made his provincial debut in 2014. McKenzie made his Investec Super Rugby debut for the Chiefs in 2015 and also played for the Maori All Blacks that year. Selection in the All Blacks followed in 2016 and he made his debut against Argentina.
While regular fullback Ben Smith was away on sabbatical, McKenzie started every Investec Rugby Championship and Vista Northern Tour Test in 2017 and was in sublime form, earning the award for man of the match against Argentina in Buenos Aires.
He continued his form into 2018, playing 11 of the 14 Tests and scoring 55 points.

First Five-Eighths
1.77m, 78kg
Test Debut:
v Argentina 1 October 2016
Test Points Breakdown:
12t, 10c
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

9 Jun v France at Auckland 52-11 (+)
16 Jun v France at Wellington 26-13 (+)
23 Jun v France at Dunedin 49-14 (-)
18 Aug v Australia at Sydney 38-13 (+)
25 Aug v Australia at Auckland 40-12 (+)
8 Sep v Argentina at Nelson 46-24 (+)
15 Sep v South Africa at Wellington 34-36 (+)
27 Oct v Australia at Yokohama 37-20 (-)
10 Nov v England at Twickenham 16 - 15
17 Nov v Ireland at Dublin 9 - 16 (-)
24 November v Italy at Rome 3-66