Super Rugby Pacific: 'Battle of Bombays' brings All Blacks showdown into spotlight on Saturday

Bragging rights in 'the Battle of the Bombays" will be up for grabs, as the Chiefs host the Blues in Super Rugby Pacific on Saturday.

While the home side's unbeaten start to the season goes on the line, the battle between the All Blacks utility back options will also be under the spotlight. 

Chiefs star Damian McKenzie has been identified as the early pacesetter in the position, with All Blacks coach Ian Foster casting an eye over at training.   

"Nice to catch up with him," McKenzie said. "I didn't know they were coming along. [Was] nice to see him and say 'hello'."

McKenzie is one of those looking to impress Foster, with this year's Rugby World Cup on the horizon.

"Missed out on the last World Cup so clearly that's a goal and anyone's goal who's playing rugby in New Zealand this year is to be on that plane to France," he said.

After a strong start to the season, he knows exactly what he has to do to be on that plane.

"Play good rugby, simple as that," McKenzie said. "Just become a leader of a team and a driver of a team if I'm playing No.10. 

"That's really important, getting the team around the park and so far, I feel like I'm doing a good job."

And this week presents an intriguing match-up. Not only are they hosting their rivals, but McKenzie's fellow All Black utility options Beauden Barrett and Stephen Perofeta will also look to make their mark.

But he insists it's not a showdown for a spot in Foster's squad.

"It's not one match-up versus the other, it's 15 against 15, 23 against 23," McKenzie said.

Perofeta says McKenzie has set the early standard in the position so far.

"I'd say he's top 15, fullback, first-five wherever he's playing, to be honest," he said. "He's a running threat, kicking threat, passing threat, all of it. It will be a good challenge."

Plenty on the line for both teams, and their superstars in Hamilton this weekend.

Join Newshub at 7:05pm Saturday for live updates of the Chiefs v Blues Super Rugby Pacific clash