Beauden Barrett Chiefs coach Warren Gatland opens up on Damian McKenzie’s All Black future

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Damian McKenzie has been earmarked for fullback at the Chiefs with new coach Warren Gatland hoping the little playmaker will line up in the opening Super Rugby clash against the Blues.

McKenzie’s 2019 season and World Cup dreams were wrecked by a knee injury, and his rare form of utility value was sorely missed by the All Blacks.

The news does not sound so immediately positive for rookie test loosie Luke Jacobson, who was forced home from Japan before a game was played because of lingering concussion issues. Gatland revealed Jacobson had yet to get a full medical clearance.

But the brilliant McKenzie should get an immediate chance to put the 2019 frustrations behind him. Gatland – the former Welsh and current Britian and Irish Lions coach – also sees fullback as McKenzie’s best test option.

McKenzie is a brilliant test bench option but his role could be influenced by whether new All Black boss Ian Foster retains Beauden Barrett at 15 or switc

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