The nephew of an All Black punched unconscious in a "king hit" attack on a Central Hawke's Bay rugby field in June is contemplating never playing rugby again.
McKenzie Oliver was struck from behind during a match between reserve grade teams Napier Technical and Central Hawke's Bay on June 22 in Waipukurau.
McKenzie, a Central player and nephew of former All Black Ken Taylor, was taken by ambulance to Hawke's Bay Hospital for scans and was diagnosed with concussion and a sprain to his cervical spine.
The 21-year-old, who still cannot recall the incident, told Hawke's Bay Today he was unsure if he would ever play competitive rugby again.
"I still can't really remember even playing in the game," he said. "I can only remember doing our team warm-up and then ... going into the back of the ambulance.
"I am currently doing some preseason, but I will have to see a doctor for their advice on what I should do next.
"I really want to play, but I don't want to do more harm than good to myself."
McKenzie added: "If it robs me from playing rugby, then I would be pretty angry, as it was a completely unprovoked situation."
The apprentice builder said he had continued medical issues months on from the attack.
"I have continued to suffer from some dizzy spells from time to time since the incident," he said.
"It took a good couple of weeks before I felt comfortable enough and able enough to return to work.
"I work for Schaw Building in Waipukurau. They were very supportive, as I was unable to work after the situation."
Hawke's Bay police charged 24-year-old Napier rugby player Aleiva'a Utumapu with intent to injure over the incident.
He was sentenced in the Napier District Court in December to nine months' intensive supervision.
McKenzie added: "I am not happy with his action. I hope he has learned from the repercussions of his actions too."
According to the summary of facts, Utumapu admitted what he did, saying he was sticking up for his cousin.
Utumapu was stood down from the Napier Tech team as a result of the incident.
McKenzie's mother, Jeanette Oliver, said while he was doing much better, no final decision over his future playing rugby will be rushed.
"Macca is going forward very well," she said. "No final decision has been made yet if he will play rugby next season. We will cross that bridge when we get to it."
McKenzie looks up to his Uncle Ken, who played for New Zealand against Fiji in 1980, and said he hopes to carry on his family's sporting feats in some capacity.
"I am proud that my Uncle Ken was an All Black - it is a big accomplishment," he said.
"Our family has a solid history in sport and I'd like to be able to continue to add to both mine and my family's sporting achievements."
McKenzie added: "I have finally accepted what has happened and the disruptions that it has caused me and my family at the time.
"I would like for him [Utumapu] to have a lifetime ban from rugby."
According to NZR's Black Book of Disciplinary Rules, the maximum punishment for striking an opponent is a 52-week ban.