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

Parent company of FIJI Water to get into major agriculture development
The Wonderful Company, the parent company of FIJI Water and one of the world’s biggest and most successful agricultural enterprises, has announced p...
6 hours ago
We have to renovate Matanikila House as we have to move the elderly from Ba Mission Hospital – Tabuya
About $341,835 will be spent by the Ministry of Women, Children and Social Protection on renovations to move the elderly from Ba Mission Hospital to ...
5 hours ago

Repair works underway on Hibiscus Highway - Ro Filipe
Repair works are currently underway on the Hibiscus Highway from Savusavu towards Natuvu as there were some delays in follow-up ...
5 hours ago

FNPF buys 40% of BSP Life’s shares in Rooster Poultry
The Fiji National Provident Fund has bought 40 percent of BSP Life’s shares in Future Farms Pte Limited, which is trading as Rooster ...
5 hours ago

AG says pending cases in court reduced to 16,941 from 26,162
Attorney General and Minister for Justice Siromi Turaga says under the previous government, the number of pending cases in court was alarmingly high, ...
7 hours ago

Ratu Etonia Seru Rokotuinaceva installed as Tui Levuka after 16 years
Ratu Etonia Seru Rokotuinaceva has been traditionally installed as the Nai Taukei Nabukebuke Na Gone Turaga Bale Na Tui Levuka and has taken over ...
8 hours ago

fijivillage Straight Talk with Vijay Narayan
Latest Videos

Stay tuned for the latest news on our radio stations

CFL radio frequencies
Ministry of Home Affairs Talanoa Session on Illicit Drugs and Substance Use Disorders in Fiji
The pervasive threat of illicit drugs has emerged as a pressing concern, rapidly infiltrating and destabilizing our society therefore the Republic of ...
4 days ago

Bainimarama and Qiliho hearing in dismissal of 2 police officers case
Acting Director of Public Prosecutions John Rabuku says he wants the hearing of former Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama and suspended Police ...
4 days ago

Sayed-Khaiyum case on alleged payment of Saneem's taxes without proper approval
It is alleged that between the 30th of June, 2022 and the 12th of July, 2022 in Suva, whilst being employed in the civil service as the Acting Prime ...
4 days ago