McKenzie wants to shine for Waikato

Date published: August 16 2016

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Damian McKenzie is looking forward to enjoying a strong Mitre 10 Cup after being left out of New Zealand's squad for the Rugby Championship.

The Chiefs star, who finished second on the points standings in Super Rugby this past season, will play for Waikato in the coming months.

And despite the setback of missing out on the All Blacks, the playmaker wants to have a solid campaign for the Mooloos in the Premiership.

"It's always disappointing not getting named [in the All Blacks]," McKenzie told Stuff ahead of their opening match against Tasman Makos.

"I'm just really looking forward to coming back for Waikato and trying to put my best foot forward there and see what comes later this year.

"I'm really proud to be playing for this province. I just want to improve each week as a player on the field and enjoy my time with this team."

He added: "It was good to be in camp with the All Blacks for a couple of days. I've learned a fair bit, which hopefully I can bring back here. I'm really excited with the squad we've got this year.

"You learn a lot pretty quickly with the high calibre of players there, and the coaches they've got as well."

McKenzie played fly-half last season for Waikato but with Stephen Donald and Sam Christie number 10 options and Willis Halaholo and Anton Lienert-Brown in the centres, he could well be deployed at full-back.

"Ideally at first-five, yes," he said when asked where he would like to play.

"But I'll do whatever the team needs me to and whatever best suits on the day."

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