As the most-capped Chiefs player of all time, there is no doubt at all that Liam Messam should return to the club and see out the 2016 campaign.
Popular with the entire organisation, Messam has amassed 144 caps for the Chiefs and was co-captain in seasons past. A former All Black and Rugby World Cup winner, Messam also dabbled in boxing prior to his Sevens Rugby bid. Once his Sevens dream was over, Messam’s Japanese club Toshiba granted him permission to pursue a return to the Chiefs.
Messam’s return is certain, not only because of the large number of injuries that have hit the Chiefs front row recently either. Continue reading Liam Messam’s Chiefs Return a No-Brainer
The Sydney Roosters want the services of Sonny Bill Williams in 2016 – and they are prepared to go the extra mile to make it a reality.
According to reports, the NRL club has met with Williams’ agent and offered a lifetime contract with several benefits in a bid to lure Williams back to the NRL a year earlier than expected.
Those benefits include becoming a club ambassador and mentor.
Williams’ mentor role would, in the words of Roosters management, help fix the alcohol and discipline related issues players have off the field.
The promises that the Roosters have made Williams are a big play to the superstars more humane side that has begun to show itself in recent years. If nothing else, Williams wants to help the next generation of rugby and league players reach the heights that he has.
While Williams may be committed to representing New Zealand at the Olympics this year, his management team are seriously considering the offer made by the Roosters.
Will SBW shock the world and walk away from Sevens to return to the NRL early?
The benefits being offered would ensure a future in the NRL for Williams beyond his playing days, and this is a big factor to consider.
Williams’ management team will have a meeting with NZ Rugby bosses in the near future.
If ticket sales don’t improve before January’s end, the 2016 edition of the Wellington Sevens could be its last.
In what would be a terrific shame, poor general ticket sales as well as an all time low corporate interest could see the Wellington Sevens event be seriously reconsidered after 2016.
Fans have more reason to attend the weekend-long party than ever before with the likes of Sonny Bill Williams and local fan favorite Ardie Savea both likely to debut at the event, but even with that, it seems it could all be too late.
Cheaper ticket prices haven’t helped the cause a single bit, in fact sales have continued to worsen.
It is now up to New Zealanders and Wellington locals alike to decide just how much they want to see the World Series circuit come to New Zealand in the future.
The future of the Wellington Sevens, as an event, is rapidly getting much more simple to determine.
Liam Messam and Sonny Bill Williams have been named in the 2015/16 All Black Sevens squad – and will not play in Super Rugby next year.
SBW and Liam Messam. Credit: Zimbio
From a Sevens standpoint, the inclusion of Sonny Bill Williams in particular seems to have been certainty for a while now, but Messam hadn’t revealed what his plans for next year until today’s announcement.
The two Chiefs superstars will be available for all Sevens World Series events beginning later this year.
New Zealand Rugby confirmed Williams and Messam are ruled out of playing Super Rugby, and as such, would be highly unlikely to represent the All Blacks.
Messam made his career in Sevens for New Zealand and his inclusion will be valuable despite lack of sevens game time in the last few years.
All Black Sevens coach Gordon Tietjens says Sonny Bill Williams will adjust well to the environment, hinting that the midfielder’s sensational ability to offload will be a good weapon during the World Series and beyond.
Messam and Williams are the only two Super Rugby players in the squad who will not play a single game for their franchise next season, others will only miss a handful of games.
Rugby Sevens will feature at the Olympic Games for the first time next year in Rio.