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THE VERSATILE and upbeat Damian McKenzie made his All Blacks debut against Argentina in 2016 as a 21 year-old.
A player with many strings to his bow, McKenzie originally specialised at first five-eighth but was a stand-out in the New Zealand Under 20 team's campaign at the 2014 Junior World Championship, where he played at fullback. It's in the 15 jersey where he's played the majority of rugby in recent years, for the Chiefs and Waikato.
The son of dairy farmers, McKenzie was born in Invercargill and educated at Christ's College, Christchurch.
McKenzie suffered a season-ending knee injury while playing Super Rugby for the Chiefs in 2019 and missed out on selection for the 2019 Rugby World Cup. He was renamed in the All Blacks in 2020 after featuring for the North in the North v South match in Wellington.
In 2021, McKenzie landed his first penalty goal for the All Blacks - a 59-metre monster strike against Australia at Eden Park.
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