All Blacks playmaker Damian McKenzie back with NZ Rugby

Returning All Blacks star Damian McKenzie has re-signed with New Zealand Rugby through to the end of next year's World Cup.

The 27-year-old has recommitted to the All Blacks, Chiefs and Waikato having just returned home after a season playing in Japan.

McKenzie, who wasn't eligible for the All Blacks squad named earlier this week, was excited about the prospect of playing on home soil again.

"I really enjoyed my time in Japan, but it's great to be home among family and friends and I can't wait to get back on the field and reconnect with team-mates and coaches in New Zealand," the 40-test playmaker said.

"I'm passionate about Waikato, the Chiefs and the All Blacks and if I'm lucky enough to wear any of those jerseys again I'll give it everything."

McKenzie's short stint in Japan was a successful one, with the Suntory side he was playing for making it all the way to the final before losing to the Robbie Deans-coached Panasonic team.

Now back in New Zealand, he said his first focus would be on playing for Waikato in this year's NPC.

Super Rugby next season would inevitably follow, and Chiefs coach Clayton McMillan said they welcomed McKenzie back with open arms.

"He's not only a fan favourite but highly respected team member who gives everything of himself on the field.

"I'm sure he enjoyed his time in Japan and will have developed his game further by nature of the different style they play up there.

"But it's great to have him back, he's a few games off becoming a Chiefs centurion and there's no doubt he will help us take another step forward as a team next season."

McKenzie was sitting on 95 caps for the Chiefs and hoped to bring up 100 matches during the 2023 Super Rugby Pacific season.