Toulouse & Lyon chasing All Blacks
The Chiefs pairing of Liam Messam and Charlie Ngatai are – according to French newspaper Midi Olympique – now the targets of a number of French clubs.
While Ngatai has only one All Black cap to his name, the 27-year-old centre has more left in the tank compared to the decorated Messam.
It is reported that Toulouse are favourites to bag his signature.
2016 saw midfield back Charlie Ngatai continue his impressive form of recent years which saw him earn a call-up to the All Blacks squad to take on Wales. However, unfortunately, due to concussion the 6’2, 100kg centre had to sit out the rest of the year.
He did however bounce back with a strong 2017 for Taranaki in the Mitre 10 and latterly playing for the Maori.
Messam on the other hand is coming to the end of an illustrious career. While he never truly nailed down a starting spot for the All Blacks the 44 times capped All Black is a fan favourite at the Chiefs, co-captaining the side from 2012 to 2015.
He has also represented the Maori All Blacks, winning the Tom French Memorial Trophy for Maori Player of the Year in 2013. Messam returns to the Chiefs in 2018 after an unsuccessful stint with the All Blacks Sevens team, and two seasons with the Toshiba Brave Lupus in Tokyo, in Japan.
According to reports, Lyon are leading the chase for his signature in a bid to bolster their backrow options, with Victor Vito’s fine form for rivals La Rochelle no doubt offering a tantalising example for what an older All Black flanker can do in the Top14.