Damian McKenzie has won the New Zealand RugbyAge Grade Player of the Year tonight during the 2014 Rugby Awards in Auckland.
Frankly, there is nobody more deserving of the award than McKenzie who in the last year has burst onto the rugby scene in New Zealand after a promising high school rugby presence for many seasons.
This blog has spoken with Damian many times throughout the year.
The thing that stands out most about McKenzie is his ability to read the game so easily. His rather simplistic kicking action with no real outlandish technique is good on the eye. There was some big talk about McKenzie heading into the ITM Cup and at times throughout the campaign McKenzie had some brilliant moments of footwork which lead to unlikely line breaks.
McKenzie represented New Zealand during this years U-20 Rugby World Cup, debuted as a professional rugby player for the Waikato Mooloos in the ITM Cup, and signed a 3-year deal with the Chiefs in Super Rugby.
McKenzie was satisfied with his performance during a difficult ITM Cup season and is currently focused on getting a little bigger in size ahead of the Super Rugby season.