As the most-capped Chiefs player of all time, there is no doubt at all that Liam Messam should return to the club and see out the 2016 campaign.
Popular with the entire organisation, Messam has amassed 144 caps for the Chiefs and was co-captain in seasons past. A former All Black and Rugby World Cup winner, Messam also dabbled in boxing prior to his Sevens Rugby bid. Once his Sevens dream was over, Messam’s Japanese club Toshiba granted him permission to pursue a return to the Chiefs.
Messam’s return is certain, not only because of the large number of injuries that have hit the Chiefs front row recently either.
With Tom Sanders yet to fully convince selectors that he is the right option to start at No. 8, Messam could easily fill that role. Michael Leitch isn’t expected to be back for the playoffs, and even if he does recover in time, it is likely that his fitness wouldn’t be up to scratch.
There is no issue with Liam Messam’s fitness – he is just out of an exhausting six-month camp of Sevens rugby.
Messam says he has no regrets about his bid to join the All Blacks Sevens in Rio. While disappointed to miss out, Messam hopes that a return to his beloved Waikato-based club could be on the cards.
Chiefs head coach Dave Rennie is expected to reveal more information about Messam’s return during a media session tomorrow.