Rumours that Damian McKenzie could feature for the Leicester Tigers in 2018 have gathered momentum this week, but the reliability of information coming out of the UK is inconsistent at best.
All that talk is just that though – talk.
If it happens, and it’s a big if at this point, McKenzie’s departure would be a monumental loss for New Zealand Rugby. Also, it won’t happen until 2018 because McKenzie has already locked in a deal with the Chiefs until the end of next years Super Rugby season.
McKenzie is currently one of the best players in Super Rugby, and has been for the past couple of seasons. Furthermore, All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has already said that he sees a future for McKenzie in the black jersey.
So, to leave now would seriously ‘go against the script’ in the eyes of many – but it would be a huge signing for Leicester and indeed the Aviva Premiership as a whole.
Rumours Of Damian McKenzie Shifting To Leicester Swirl
The original source for the news came from The Rugby Podcast and has subsequently been reported by UK publications. On Monday, Newshub was the only New Zealand media organisation to report on the matter.
Just how reliable the sources out of the UK are is up for debate. It isn’t uncommon for a club, in this case the Leicester Tigers, to leak discussions to the media in order to generate news prior to an official announcement.
Last Word On Rugby asked Chiefs head coach Dave Rennie about the situation during a phone conference on Tuesday. Rennie declined to comment on the story in the UK and re-enforced McKenzie’s contractual commitments to New Zealand.
“My comment would be that Damian is contracted to New Zealand Rugby.”
The Chiefs are set to take on the Stormers in the Super Rugby quarterfinals this weekend.
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