Liam Justin Messam (born 25 March 1984) is a New Zealand rugby union player who plays TOP14 for RC Toulonnais. In Super Rugby, he previously played for the Chiefs, and for Waikato in the ITM Cup. Messam predominantly plays as a blindside flanker but can fill in at Number 8 as well as openside flanker. After the retirement of then Chiefs captain Mils Muliaina, Messam was named the team's new co-captain from 2012 onwards, alongside Aaron Cruden.
|Birth name||Liam Justin Messam|
|Date of birth||25 March 1984|
|Place of birth||Blenheim, New Zealand|
|Height||1.90 m (6 ft 3 in)|
|Weight||109 kg (240 lb)|
|School||Rotorua Boys' High School|
|Rugby union career|
In October 2008, Messam was selected in New Zealand's end of year tour squad to tour Hong Kong and Europe. He played one test against Scotland and one match against Munster. He subsequently appeared several more times for New Zealand but was dropped a month out of the 2011 Rugby World Cup in favour of Victor Vito. Since his debut in 2008 he won 40 test caps for the All Blacks.
In 2004, at the age of just 20, he captained the New Zealand sevens team to its fifth IRB Sevens World Series title and in 2005 led the team to the final. Messam also played in the New Zealand sevens teams that won gold at the 2006 Commonwealth Games and 2010 Commonwealth Games. In 2004 he was also named New Zealand Sevens Player of the Year.
Of Māori descent, Messam affiliates to the Ngāi Tūhoe iwi. Messam has stated that he also has Samoan and Scottish heritage. He has played for the New Zealand Maori, including during the 2006 Churchill Cup and the 2010 centenary series, where he captained the side. In 2012 and 2013 Messam was awarded the Tom French Cup as Māori Player of the Year.
On 31 January 2015, Messam fought on the undercard of close friend Sonny Bill Williams' boxing bout.
Messam was selected for the 2015 Rugby World Cup as part of the All Blacks' 31-man squad. After the tournament was finished, Messam announced his intention to compete in rugby sevens for the 2016 Summer Olympics. Messam was later named in the All Black Sevens' squad for the Wellington Sevens alongside All Blacks teammate Sonny Bill Williams. After the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics, Liam Messam did play for the Chiefs in 2016 Super Rugby competition, when injuries greatly affected the loose forwards positions .
- "Rugby World Cup 2011: All Blacks pick Vito, omit Sivivatu & Gear". BBC. 23 August 2011. Retrieved 29 October 2015.
- Profile at the New Zealand Commonwealth Games website
- "43 Māori athletes to head to Rio Olympics". Te Karere. 5 August 2016. Retrieved 6 August 2016.
- "Ray Watson, Liam Messam winners at Rugby Awards". Rotorua Daily Post. APN Holdings. 14 December 2012. Archived from the original on 23 February 2013. Retrieved 3 April 2013.
- McKendry, Patrick (5 December 2013). "Read, All Blacks, Hansen scoop top NZ rugby awards". NZ Herald. APN Holdings. Retrieved 5 December 2013.
Liam Mesam's brother played in the 2012 All Whites side at the 2012 London Olympics.
- Liam Messam at AllBlacks.com
- Chiefs profile at the Wayback Machine (archived 2008-01-23)
- Profile on Waikato Rugby Union site at the Wayback Machine (archived 2007-03-12)
- Liam Messam at ItsRugby.co.uk
| Tom French Memorial
Māori rugby union player of the year