A skilled ball-runner, Liam Messam showed resolute leadership for the Chiefs. The abrasive loose forward has had a massive workload over the last few seasons, his form earning him the Tom French Memorial Trophy for Maori Player of the Year in 2013.
Persistence and hard work paid off for Messam, who had limited opportunities in his first five seasons, earning just nine Tests heading into 2012, despite frequently being named in All Blacks squads. However, opportunity presented itself and Messam was determined to make the most of it. Thirty-one Test caps followed between 2012 and 2013, many in the number six jersey, where his speed and committed defence proved invaluable.
He had an action-packed and varied 2010 as a member of New Zealand’s Commonwealth Games Sevens team in Delhi (as well as a gold medal-winner in Melbourne in 2006), and like Hosea Gear, also a member - and captain - of the New Zealand Maori team.
Finishing the season as the 'fourth ranked' loose forward in New Zealand rugby, he played in all 16 matches of the Chiefs 2011 Investec Super Rugby campaign.
He has a huge physical presence around the park, whether in possession or on defence and is versatile enough to play all three loose forward positions.
He is served well by his Sevens skills, often linking well with his backs or getting over the tryline himself.
An experienced leader, Messam first made the All Blacks on the 2008 Grand Slam tour, toured again on the 2009 end of year Tour and played three more Tests in 2010.
Messam spends his time away from rugby playing golf, surfing and watching gridiron.
v Scotland in Edinburgh 2008
|Test Points Breakdown:||
2003 v Italy
148 (29t, 1dg)
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|Super Rugby Debut:||
2006 v Sharks
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• Won a Commonwealth Games gold medal for Sevens.
• Played in every game for the Chiefs and Waikato in 2007 and 2008.
• Has represented New Zealand at 21 Sevens Tournaments, and captained the Champion sides in 2004 and 2005.
• Was the leading forward try scorer in New Zealand first class rugby in 2006, with 15 tries.
• New Zealand Sevens Player of the Year 2004