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Chiefs coach invents novel excuse for Damian McKenzie failing to beat Beauden Barrett's fitness test time

Damian McKenzie has fallen short of breaking Beauden Barrett's record-setting pre-season Bronco test result, Chiefs coach Tabai Matson says.

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Tabai Matson detailed the Chiefs' pre-season fitness results. Source: 1 NEWS

With the New Zealand Super Rugby sides returning to training earlier this week, Barrett set tongues wagging with his Bronco test time, clocking in at four minutes 12 seconds.

The Bronco test sees players run shuttles of 20, 40 and 60 metres as one set, repeated five times, the ideal being to clock in under five minutes.

If there was to be one player in New Zealand to potentially challenge Barrett Chiefs flyer Damian McKenzie would be the name to give the All Blacks star a run for his money.

Speaking to media via Zoom today though, Chiefs assistant coach Matson says that McKenzie fell agonisingly short in this morning's run.

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"No, [but] he was close to his PB [personal best]," Matson said.

"There were no world records broken, but remember we're not at sea level here in Hamilton. They've got an advantage up in Auckland - that's all I'll say."

Matson added that even though he fell short of Barrett, the Chiefs' star fullback easily topped the charts in this morning's tests.

"He's jet shoes quick when it comes to a Bronco.

"Trasky [Kaleb Trask] came in pretty well, Lukey J [Luke Jacobsen] came in really well. I'd have to get my phone out to have a look at the numbers.

"Sean Wainui, the turbo diesel, he was up the top. [Brad] Weber was up the top, Bosh [Lachlan Boshier] wasn't far away, and all the fat guys came in a good minute later."