Chiefs wait on Messam’s availability for play-offs

The Chiefs face a nervous wait to find out if All Blacks back-row Liam Messam will be available to play in Super Rugby’s play-offs.

Messam was part of New Zealand’s Sevens squad for most of the 2016 season but missed out on selection for next month’s Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

He returned to Super Rugby action during the Chiefs’ clash with the Reds in Brisbane on Saturday and impressed as a replacement during a 40-minute cameo in his side’s 40-5 victory.

But he must wait to find out if Sanzaar will give him permission to play in the play-offs as he currently doesn’t meet the criteria of having played four competition matches.

The Chiefs are hopeful of receiving a positive decision on the 32-year-old after they applied to Super Rugby’s governing body for dispensation.

The Hamilton outfit believe Messam will be cleared to play as he came into the side as an injury replacement.

“We are pretty confident and we wouldn’t be using him now if it were pointless,” Chiefs coach Dave Rennie told New Zealand Newswire.

“He’s good and he gives us a little bit of niggle, and I think that is going to be pretty important this week against the Highlanders.

“It’s great having him back as he brings another strong voice and is a very passionate Chiefs man.”