Liam Messam and Sonny Bill Williams have been named in the 2015/16 All Black Sevens squad – and will not play in Super Rugby next year.
From a Sevens standpoint, the inclusion of Sonny Bill Williams in particular seems to have been certainty for a while now, but Messam hadn’t revealed what his plans for next year until today’s announcement.
The two Chiefs superstars will be available for all Sevens World Series events beginning later this year.
New Zealand Rugby confirmed Williams and Messam are ruled out of playing Super Rugby, and as such, would be highly unlikely to represent the All Blacks.
Messam made his career in Sevens for New Zealand and his inclusion will be valuable despite lack of sevens game time in the last few years.
All Black Sevens coach Gordon Tietjens says Sonny Bill Williams will adjust well to the environment, hinting that the midfielder’s sensational ability to offload will be a good weapon during the World Series and beyond.
Messam and Williams are the only two Super Rugby players in the squad who will not play a single game for their franchise next season, others will only miss a handful of games.
Rugby Sevens will feature at the Olympic Games for the first time next year in Rio.