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The speedy McKay was let go by the Highlanders after three years with the franchise. But he has been picked up by the Crusaders as injury cover for Brayden Ennor.
McKay admitted to media earlier this week, he was at a loose end before being brought in by the Crusaders.
"I was pretty much going to look for a job. Play some club footy. But once this popped up I was pretty excited to jump at it. I’m from Kaiapoi, born and bred, so have always had a connection with this place," he said.
"So far, it’s been awesome. I enjoyed myself down south but it was always good coming back to Canterbury and playing for them. Now I’m back here and it is great to be back."
He said the Crusaders were very professional, right through from the academy to the top side, and he wanted to take any chance that came along.
McKay, a schoolboy star, who played for NZ schools in 2015, made his debut for the Highlanders in 2018 but struggled to get game time, though in last year’s Super Rugby Aotearoa competition he managed to get on the park and impressed at times.
But he was let go by the Highlanders and had nothing on the table until the Crusaders came calling. Ennor injured his knee in the North v South match last year and is not expected back until the middle of the year.
McKay (23) is not a midfielder like Ennor, playing more as fullback and wing, but he is just keen to wear the red and black.
"I grew up wanting to be a Crusader. Going and watching things at town. Now it is an opportunity you have to take. There is no shortage of calibre here."
McKay has bulked up in the off season after he was seen as being too light to perform in the power game which being played this day. He said it was now just a case of eating well and managing the workload.
McKay will not have to wait long to meet his old team, the Highlanders, as the sides are due to clash at Temuka in a pre-season match in Temuka on February 12.
McKay cautioned he had to make the team first and was not getting ahead of himself.
"I think for me, it is about week by week. Nothing is a given and you want to put your best foot forward. After last season it was about getting back to Mitre 10 and wanting to play well for Canterbury.
"I always want to be in that Super environment. [It was a] bit tough losing out but knew this was coming up ... it’s not going to be hard finding motivation.
"I’ll do what I can to put my best foot forward. I guess playing with a chip on your shoulder can really help out."