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McKenzie can wait for Cruden's departure

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 13/03/2017
Aaron Cruden of the Chiefs. © Phil Walter / Getty Images Aaron Cruden of the Chiefs.

Damien McKenzie is happy to bide his time at the back before Aaron Cruden's departure to France at the end of the Super Rugby competition.

McKenzie has played the bulk of his rugby at fullback for the Chiefs, a position where he was able to play two tests for the All Blacks last year.

The Waikato first five maintains he's just keen to keep playing his part for the franchise after they picked up their third straight win, against the Hurricanes on Friday night.

"I'm loving my time at 15 but I'm preparing for both positions because if you're chucked in there you have to be able to lead the team around the park.

"It would be awesome to have a crack at 10 at some stage but I'm just looking to do what's best for the team, so if that's at 15 or first five then I'll just try and make the most of that," McKenzie said.

He is grateful for his time spent with coach Dave Rennie, who will leave to coach in Scotland next year but McKenzie is looking forward to playing under Colin Cooper who will be taking over the role next season.

"Rennie is a big loss for the Chiefs but obviously with Coops stepping in, he's an awesome coach as I had him at the New Zealand Maori's.

"He''ll bring in a different way of coaching but it's something I will be looking forward to," McKenzie said.

Having started the season unbeaten, the Chiefs are determined not to let standards slip against the winless Rebels after losing to the Victoria based team 16-15 in Melbourne two years ago.

"We need to make sure we treat this game like every other week. New Zealand derbies excite you a little bit more but it's about having that same mindset."

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