All Blacks hold onto smiling assassin

Fri, 09 Mar 2018 08:18
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NEWS: Exceptional young All Blacks and Chiefs playmaker Damian McKenzie has signed a new deal with New Zealand Rugby, recommitting with the national body as well as his Chiefs through until 2021.

The versatile 22-year-old, a favourite with fans, has played 12 Tests since making his All Blacks debut against Argentina in October 2016 and more than 50 games for the Chiefs since making his Super Rugby debut in 2015.

McKenzie said he was excited to sign on for the next three years in New Zealand. 

"It's a really exciting opportunity to have signed on for three more years. My time in the Chiefs jersey has been awesome to date and the support I've been given during my time in Chiefs Country has been amazing. I've had an awesome opportunity to be able to sign on with New Zealand Rugby and hopefully keep achieving higher honours in the future," he said.

All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen said: "Damian is an outstanding young talent and we are delighted that he has recommitted to New Zealand Rugby. 

"He had a busy year for us last year, starting in ten Tests, and came through really well. He grew in stature in his time in the jersey, developing his skillset and his game. That experience will put him in good stead for the future and we look forward to watching him develop further over the next few years."

Chiefs head coach Colin Cooper added: "I'm really excited that Damian has re-signed with the club for the next three years. He's a great player with great character and brings a lot of confidence and stability to the team. The contract extension shows Damian's long-term commitment to the Chiefs and I’m thrilled to be working with him."