Chiefs stalwarts return home

Fri, 28 Oct 2016 17:20
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NEWS: With over 200 combined Chiefs caps Liam Messam and Tim Nanai-Williams have both return from Japan to join the Chiefs for the 2017 Super Rugby season.

The loose forward and utility back are huge coups for the Chiefs, having both played significant roles in the franchise’s success as part of the 2012 and 2013 squads that won back-to-back Super Rugby Championships.

Chiefs coach Dave Rennie said "Liam [Messam] is a passionate and inspirational Chiefs man who has been a massive contributor to the success of this franchise.  It’s great to have him back,"

Veteran loose forward Liam Messam made his debut for the Chiefs in 2006 and has gone on to become the most capped Chiefs player of all time with 146 caps.  He has signed with the Chiefs for two years.

A strong leader, Messam co-captained the Chiefs from 2012 to 2015 and notched up 46 Test caps for the All Blacks. He also represented the Maori All Blacks, winning the prestigious Tom French Memorial Trophy for Maori Player of the Year in 2013. Messam returns to the Chiefs after a stint with the All Blacks Sevens team, and two seasons with the Brave Lupus in Tokyo, Japan.

Liam Messam said he was immensely excited to don the Chiefs jersey again.

"I’m really looking forward to returning home after a year of new challenges and developing my skills.  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.  The Chiefs is my home and the support I get from our supporters really means a lot to me when I play,"

Nanai-Williams will be back at the Chiefs after two seasons with the Ricoh Black Rams in Japan and valuable international experience with Samoa in the 2015 Rugby World Cup. Nanai-Williams has also represented both New Zealand and Samoa on the World Sevens circuit. With 77 Chiefs caps to his name and vital title-winning experience, the 27-year old adds depth to an exciting Chiefs backline.

Nanai-Williams was looking forward to immersing himself in the Chiefs environment again.

"It has been great to experience a different culture and team environment in Japan but I can’t wait to work again with Dave [Rennie] and the coaching team and be part of a great bunch of players at the Chiefs," said Nanai-Williams.

Rennie was looking forward to welcoming Tim back and said "[Nanai-Williams'] a top man who brings experience and leadership. His speed and outstanding skill set give him the flexibility to play anywhere in the backline, a huge asset in such a demanding campaign,"

The 2017 Chiefs Squad will be announced Wednesday, November 2, with players assembling at the training base on December 1.

Source: chiefs.co.za

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 28 April 2017
Highlanders v Stormers 07h35 Dunedin
Cardiff Blues v Zebre 18h05 Cardiff
Edinburgh v Dragons 18h35 Myreside
Leinster v Glasgow Warriors 18h35 RDS Arena
Newcastle Falcons v Worcester Warriors 19h00 Kingston Park
Sat, 29 April 2017
Chiefs v Sunwolves 07h35 Hamilton
Reds v Waratahs 09h45 Suncorp Stadium
Force v Lions 11h55 Perth
Ospreys v Ulster 14h00 Liberty Stadium
Bath v Gloucester 14h00 Recreation Ground
Exeter Chiefs v Northampton Saints 14h00 Sandy Park
Saracens v Bristol 14h00 Allianz Park
Harlequins v Wasps 14h00 Twickenham Stoop
Leicester Tigers v Sale Sharks 14h00 Welford Road
Cheetahs v Crusaders 15h15 Bloemfontein
Treviso v Munster 17h05 Stadio Monigo
Kings v Rebels 17h30 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Connacht v Scarlets 18h35 Sportsground
Jaguares v Sharks 19h40 Buenos Aires
Sun, 30 April 2017
Brumbies v Blues 06h05 Canberra
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 23 April 2017
Clermont Auvergne v Leinster 27 | 22
Sat, 22 April 2017
Sharks v Rebels 9 | 9
Bulls v Cheetahs 20 | 14
Munster v Saracens 10 | 26
Force v Chiefs 7 | 16
Crusaders v Stormers 57 | 24
Highlanders v Sunwolves 40 | 15
Fri, 21 April 2017
Lions v Jaguares 24 | 21
Waratahs v Kings 24 | 26
Hurricanes v Brumbies 56 | 21
Mon, 17 April 2017
UP-Tuks v Maties 28 | 21
Sun, 16 April 2017
Bristol v Wasps 21 | 36
Northampton Saints v Saracens 25 | 27
Sat, 15 April 2017
Connacht v Leinster 24 | 37
Treviso v Edinburgh 21 | 6
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Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 8 3 0 5 17
Reds 8 2 0 6 10
Force 7 2 0 5 9
Waratahs 8 2 0 6 9
Rebels 7 1 1 5 7
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 8 8 0 0 36
Hurricanes 8 7 0 1 33
Chiefs 8 7 0 1 33
Highlanders 8 5 0 3 23
Blues 8 3 0 5 17
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 8 6 0 2 26
Bulls 8 3 0 5 14
Cheetahs 8 2 0 6 10
Sunwolves 8 1 0 7 5
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 8 7 0 1 32
Sharks 8 5 1 2 24
Jaguares 8 4 0 4 20
Kings 8 2 0 6 10