Former All Black Liam Messam is set to make a shock return to the injury-struck Chiefs squad ahead of this weekend’s Super Rugby Aotearoa clash with the Blues.
Messam and Taranaki loose forward Tom Florence have been called into the squad as injury replacements following season-ending injuries to Kaylum Boshier, Mitchell Karpik and Simon Parker.
He has spent recent weeks training with the Chiefs, having played with Waikato in the Mitre 10 Cup last year. He had previously ruled himself out of Super Rugby as he sought more family time.
The 37-year-old Messam is one of the most decorated players in Chiefs history, with a franchise-record 179 Super Rugby caps and two titles to his name.
Despite his decorated past, Messam is adamant he would still have to prove himself worthy of selection.
‘I’ve got to get out on the training pitch and earn my stripes,’ Messam said.
‘It doesn’t matter what I’ve done or how many games I’ve played for the Chiefs, I’m going out here to earn the coaches and the boys’ respect by the way I train and hopefully I’ll get the opportunity to put on that jersey again.’
It is a tough end to the season for Boshier, who is to undergo shoulder surgery after sustaining an injury against the Hurricanes this past weekend. His recovery time is expected to be six months.
Likewise, Karpik is also set to undergo surgery on his knee, after sustaining an injury in training last week. He will be out for two to three months.
Parker had foot surgery earlier this month and will also be out for six months.
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