Messam gets Sevens call
September 27, 2010
Liam Messam has been called up to the New Zealand Sevens squad © Getty Images
Waikato back-rower Liam Messam has been drafted into the New Zealand Sevens squad for the Commonwealth Games as replacement for injured Otago flanker Adam Thomson.
Messam, who skippered the New Zealand Maori this season and has been capped five times by the All Blacks, won a Commonwealth gold four years ago and has another shot at the top prize following Thomson's knee injury.
"Adam was a big loss but we have been fortunate enough to now include Liam in our preparations," Sevens coach Gordon Tietjens said. "He has had the experience of playing in a Commonwealth Games before and that will be invaluable once we get to tournament time."
The tournament has been in the headlines for the wrong reasons in the past week, with concerns over the condition of the athletes' village and living quarters dominating the coverage. The squad departs for Dubai on Friday, where they will be based before heading to New Delhi on October 6.
Messam was not concerned by the change of pace and hopes to enhance his breakdown work with a stint in the shortened form of the game.
"The change in law interpretations has transformed the pace of fifteens this season and I think getting back into Sevens will only enhance my game in that area," he said. "I have also been lucky enough to win one gold medal already and the opportunity to win another one is not something that comes along every day."
"The thirst for knowledge has seen coaches break away from the confines of rugby and look to America." Tom Hamilton on the two-way learning process
On Saturday, New Zealand face the USA in a match that has been 40 years in the making. Tom Hamilton finds the atmosphere building in Chicago
Most modern rugby players will not know the name Ray Williams but they should be eternally grateful to him, writes John Taylor
With the All Blacks playing the USA Eagles this weekend, Craig Dowd says rugby is ready to make a professional breakthrough Stateside