Messam grateful to Chiefs after Rio 2016 snub

Liam Messam is grateful to the Chiefs and his Japanese club for being given a lifeline back to Super Rugby.

The All Blacks flanker had his Olympic hopes wrecked when he missed out on the 12-strong New Zealand squad named on Sunday to contest the rugby sevens at Rio.

Messam, 32, had given away Super Rugby in 2016 to pursue Olympic selection but the injury-plagued Chiefs have called him in as a replacement player following his setback.

The 43-Test veteran could be in Chiefs colours as early as Friday’s match against the Queensland Reds in Brisbane as they try to maintain top spot in the New Zealand conference.

Japanese club Toshiba, who have contracted Messam for the next two years, have granted him permission to play out the last two rounds of the regular season and any play-off matches.

Messam told NewstalkZB he is thankful to Toshiba, as well as the Chiefs, although he is also aware of the need to remain in shape for Sevens just in case injury strikes any members of the Rio-bound squad.

He says he is disappointed at missing his Olympic goal, and added: “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.”

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