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Chiefs landmark looms for evergreen Messam

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 28/03/2017
Liam Messam of the Chiefs © Getty Images Liam Messam of the Chiefs

A relaxed Liam Messam is set to become the eighth man in Super Rugby history to play 150 games when he takes to the field for the Chiefs this weekend.

Veteran flanker Messam says raising the milestone in Saturday's match against the Bulls in Hamilton is yet to get his pulse racing.

"I haven't thought about it, because it's just another day at the office where you prepare to play and win," he said.

Messam has signed a two-year contract with the franchise, extending a relationship which began in 2006.

The 32-year-old remains coy about surpassing any overall Super Rugby records.

Blues great Keven Mealamu holds the record with 175 games but that mark is poised to be surpassed by Crusaders prop Wyatt Crockett.

"I'll see what happens. I've just been really blessed and lucky enough to get this far in my career" Messam said.

Messam said a successful career which has spanned 43 All Blacks Tests and features two Commonwealth Games gold medals could be attributed to the enjoyment gained from playing for the Chiefs.

A desire to always get better drives the Waikato-based side, who have won their first four games of 2017.

"There is an awesome vibe at the moment as we have a good team culture going on," he said.

"I think the most pleasing thing is that we're disappointed about our performances.

"We have had four wins but still not to the standard we want to be setting ourselves as we strive to get better."

Chiefs coach Dave Rennie says Messam's mana is immeasurable for team-mates who can only benefit from his presence.

"Young guys in the room just gasp every time we name our team when they hear how many caps he's got," Rennie said.

"You don't have to say as much when Liam's around - we have two captains but he knows when to chip in and guys stand up and listen.

"It's a great achievement. He's a passionate Chiefs man, respected by his team mates and fans so we need to put in a performance that's worthy of that."

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