World Cup hopes ended for Damian McKenzie

Date published: April 15 2019

New Zealand and the Chiefs have suffered a major blow with news that Damian McKenzie ruptured his ACL during a Super Rugby game on Saturday.

McKenzie limped from the action against the Blues, a game the Chiefs won, and has since received the worst news for both player and country.

“He’s done an ACL and looks to be out for eight to nine months which is a real shame for him,” All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen confirmed.

“His World Cup opportunity’s gone but he’s still young enough to make probably the next two. It’s just important he gets his knee right and takes the time to be able to come back and achieve the dreams that he wants to achieve.

“It’s sad for him obviously. It creates another opportunity for someone else. We’ve got to expect injuries and there will be more than just him I’d say.”

McKenzie impressed in New Zealand’s full-back jersey last year while his versatility makes him a valuable asset to their squad. However, his absence will now open the door to other players to push their case for Rugby World Cup selection for the reigning back-to-back champions.