Messam set to return for Chiefs

Date published: July 4 2016

All Blacks flanker Liam Messam is grateful to the Chiefs and his Japanese club, Toshiba Brave Lupus, for giving him a lifeline to return to Super Rugby.

Messam has put the disappointment of missing out on selection for New Zealand's squad for next month's Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro behind him and is ready to make his first appearance for the Hamilton-based Chiefs in Super Rugby 2016.

The 32-year-old had initially given up the chance to play Super Rugby this year to pursue his Olympic dream but his setback in the shortened version of the game has led to him being called up as a replacement player for the Chiefs during the rest of their campaign.

Messam could feature as early as Friday for the Chiefs when they take on the Reds in Brisbane. 

Toshiba Brave Lupus, who have signed Messam for the next two years, have given the 43-Test veteran permission to play for the Chiefs in the last two rounds of the regular season as well as the play-off matches.

Messam thanked Toshiba, as well as the Chiefs, for allowing him to return to action as he is aware he must remain fit for Sevens in case he gets called up as an injury replacement for his country's Olympic squad.

"I have to see if I can make that team now," Messam told Newstalk ZB about the possibility of playing for the Chiefs.

"I'm still injury cover for the boys in the Sevens and I still have to stay match-fit, so I'm just grateful the Chiefs are opening their doors to me.

"I'm lucky enough that I can go there and stay match-fit and be ready if the Sevens boys need me."

Messam admitted he is disappointed at missing out on participating at the Olympics.

“But I have no regrets because I gave it my all, and that’s all that I could ask of myself – to go out there and give everything that I had,” he said.