Rugby World Cup: All Blacks utility Damian McKenzie given first shot at making No.10 jersey his

Rugby World Cup: All Blacks utility Damian McKenzie given first shot at making No.10 jersey his

By Alipate Narawa
Saturday 08/07/2023
Damian McKenzie

Seven years and 40 tests after his All Blacks debut, Damian McKenzie admits he's trying to reclaim his place back in the national team for this year's Rugby World Cup in France.

Named in the No.10 jersey for tomorrow’s Rugby Championship opener against Argentina, the Chiefs star heads off Richie Mo'unga and Beauden Barrett, who have dominated the first-five position over recent years.

To his bemusement, McKenzie will also take first shot at the goalkicking role, but insists his appointment to that particular job wasn't a case of him claiming the responsibility as of right.

McKenzie says they just had a bit of a yack during the week and they’ve obviously got some pretty astute goalkickers, he has got the first crack and if he is going no good, Jordie [Barrett] can take over.

Four years ago, McKenzie seemed poised to play an integral part in the All Blacks' World Cup campaign, with the dual playmaker concept designed to accommodate his ability to break a game open from first-five or fullback.

That prospect ended, when he tore knee ligaments during Super Rugby and never made the plane to Japan.

His career was interrupted again last year, when he did catch the big silver bird to the 'Land of the Rising Sun', playing for Tokyo Sungoliath in the Japan League One competition and forfeiting his All Blacks eligibility.

His form for the Chiefs this year has been compelling, with McKenzie's pinpoint goalkicking making him the competition's leading pointscorer on 191 points.

That momentum has carried him into the first All Blacks line-up of another World Cup campaign, but he's under no illusions about his claims on the jersey.

Argentina will host New Zealand at 7.10am tomorrow. 


Sat 05 AugFull TimeAustralia20 - 23All Blacks


fijivillage Straight Talk with Vijay Narayan
Latest Videos

Stay tuned for the latest news on our radio stations

CFL radio frequencies
Fuel prices go down while gas prices increase tomorrow
Good news as there will be a huge drop in fuel prices from tomorrow however, the price of gas will increase. The Ministry of Trade, Co-operatives, ...
12 hours ago
Tappoo’s new song ‘Tera Chehra’ a success
Fiji born international music star, Sumeet Tappoo’s latest song, a cover of Adnan Sami’s song ‘Tera Chehra’, is a success and has been hugely ...
12 hours ago

Fiji Patrol Dog boosted after the graduation of 3 Fiji Police K9 officers from NZ
The Fiji Police Force has boosted their Fiji Patrol Dog capabilities after the graduation of three Fijian Police officers from the New Zealand Police ...
13 hours ago

Acting COMPOL reminds Police Mobile Officers to be fit at all times
Be fit at all times. This is the message from Acting Police Commissioner Juki Fong Chew to officers serving at the Police Mobile Force. While ...
13 hours ago

Govt investigates $122 million wind turbine deal, due process was not followed - Kamikamica
Acting Prime Minister, Manoa Kamikamica confirms the government has started investigations into the $122 million Power Purchase Agreement, dealing ...
14 hours ago

It's a significant day seeing my seniors here - Acting COMPOL
It was a memorable day for Acting Police Commissioner Juki Fong Chew as he witnessed some of his seniors being part of the Police Mobile Force’s ...
14 hours ago
PM’s motion passed to reduce overseas travel allowances for the PM, Ministers, Assistant Ministers, Leader of Opposition and MPs
Parliament has passed the Prime Minister’s motion to reduce the rates payable for overseas travelling allowances for the Prime Minister, Cabinet ...
8 days ago

CEO of the Fijian Competition and Consumer Commission, Joel Abraham appears on fijivillage Straight Talk With Vijay Narayan
CEO of the Fijian Competition and Consumer Commission, Joel Abraham appears on fijivillage Straight Talk With Vijay ...
15 days ago

HIV infections in Fiji increased 260% since 2010, making Fiji the second fastest-growing epidemic in the Asia Pacific region
Speaker of Parliament and UNAIDS Goodwill Ambassador for the Pacific Region, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau says according to the Global AIDS Monitoring Report, Fiji is in the top 5 countries of rising new HIV infections in the Asia Pacific region amongst the 15 t
19 days ago