Messam to stick with NZ rugby

EVAN PEGDEN
Last updated 05:00 21/02/2013

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His closest mate in the team has gone overseas, his co-captain is going and so is fellow All Black Richard Kahui, but Liam Messam reckons he's staying on at the Chiefs.

Having cemented a regular starting spot in the All Blacks last year, Messam wants to stick with New Zealand rugby for now after good friend Sonny Bill Williams led the exodus at the end of last year and will be followed at the end of this season by Craig Clarke and Richard Kahui.

It is understood another Chiefs player is due also to announce his impending departure to a lucrative overseas contract and that the money on offer is three or four times what players are being paid here.

But Messam says he is not going anywhere, although he made light of the question.

"No-one wants me. Richard [Kahui] took all the money in Japan, so there's no more money there and Craig [Clarke] took all the money in Ireland and there's no money anywhere else," Messam said.

He also has no intention of following Williams and Quade Cooper into the professional boxing ring, despite being a keen boxing trainer and having fought in the Fight for Life.

"It's always been a hobby and something I've loved doing ... so once a week I head down to the boxing gym and hit a bag ... but at the moment I'm just fully focused on going back to back with [the Chiefs]."

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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