Get the Sport24 daily newsletter delivered to your Inbox!


    Chiefs beaming after McKenzie inks deal

    2016-05-03 07:37

    Sydney - The Chiefs have tied down 21-year-old exciting prospect Damian McKenzie for another two years in a major coup for the twice Super Rugby champions.

    Fullback McKenzie has been key in the Chiefs' table-topping resurgence this season, leading the competition in tries and points scored while being widely touted for an All Blacks call-up for the June internationals against Wales.

    Invercargill-born McKenzie hails from Highlanders territory but was swooped up by the North Island's Chiefs after impressing at the junior world championships in 2014.

    His new deal will keep him at the Hamilton-based side until the end of the 2018 season.

    "We're absolutely rapt that Damian's committed here long-term," Chiefs coach Dave Rennie said in a team release on Tuesday.

    "He's an impressive young man – competitive and resilient with a skillset to rival anyone in the competition. He plays with a free spirit, is courageous and is a pleasure to coach."

    At 1.75 metres, McKenzie is pint-sized in the modern game but has impressed with his defensive prowess and raised eyebrows with a try-saving tackle on the Crusaders' Nemani Nadolo in February that sent the bulky Fiji-born winger flying over the touchline.

    He has also become renowned for breaking into a toothy grin every time he lines up for a kick off the tee, in contrast to the usual fraught expressions on rival kickers' faces.

    The smile, described as 'scary' by at least one Australian rugby pundit, has been flashed countless times in racking up 120 points after 10 rounds of the season.

    "I don't want to change my routine but I'm getting a bit of stick for it at the moment," McKenzie said last month. "A few people are telling me that I look like a bit of a creep."

    The Chiefs (8-1) play the defending champion Highlanders (6-3) in a blockbuster clash in Hamilton on Saturday.

    Read More On:  chiefs super rugby rugby

    What To Read Next

    Read News24’s Comments Policy

    Live Video Streaming
    Video Highlights
    Sport Talk


    23 February 2017
    • Rebels v Blues, AAMI Park 12:45
    24 February 2017
    • Highlanders v Chiefs, 10:35
    • Reds v Sharks, Suncorp Stadium 13:00
    25 February 2017
    • Sunwolves v Hurricanes, Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium 08:15
    • Crusaders v Brumbies, AMI Stadium 10:35
    • Waratahs v Force, Allianz Stadium 12:45
    • Cheetahs v Lions, Toyota Stadium 17:05
    • Kings v Jaguares, Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium 19:15
    • Stormers v Bulls, Cape Town 21:30


    06 August 2016
    30 July 2016
    23 July 2016
    22 July 2016
    16 July 2016
    15 July 2016
    09 July 2016
    08 July 2016
    02 July 2016
    01 July 2016
    29 May 2016
    28 May 2016
    27 May 2016
    21 May 2016
    20 May 2016
    14 May 2016
    13 May 2016
    07 May 2016
    06 May 2016
    30 April 2016
    29 April 2016
    24 April 2016
    23 April 2016
    22 April 2016
    16 April 2016
    15 April 2016
    09 April 2016
    08 April 2016
    03 April 2016
    02 April 2016
    01 April 2016
    27 March 2016
    26 March 2016
    25 March 2016
    19 March 2016
    18 March 2016
    12 March 2016
    11 March 2016
    05 March 2016
    04 March 2016
    27 February 2016
    26 February 2016

    Opinion Poll

    Jake White will leave his job as Montpellier coach next year. Where would you like to see the former Springbok coach, coach next?

    The ultimate Super Rugby quiz!

    There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.