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Chiefs regain Messam and Nanai-Williams

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 28/10/2016

Liam Messam of New Zealand © Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images Liam Messam of New Zealand Liam Messam and Tim Nanai-Williams will both return to the Chiefs for 2017, bolstering the squad with over 200 combined Super Rugby caps.

The accomplished pair, who played signficant roles in the Chiefs winning the 2012 and 2013 titles, both sat out last season for contrasting reasons.

Veteran flanker Messam, who accrued 146 Chiefs caps since his debut in 2006, missed most of this year's campaign in an unsuccessful bid to play sevens at the Rio Olympics.

The former co-captain played two games at the end of the regular season but was ruled ineligible for the play-offs.

Messam, a 46-Test All Black, has signed for two seasons.

"I'm really looking forward to returning home after a year of new challenges and developing my skills," he said.

"The 2017 season is really exciting with a once in a lifetime chance to play against the British and Irish Lions when they tour NZ in June."

Outside back Nanai-Williams, 27, will be back after two seasons with Japanese club side the Ricoh Black Rams.

He has represented Samoa, playing against the All Blacks in Apia last year and at the subsequent World Cup.

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