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Liam Messam 'sprinkling grey hairs' around young Chiefs ahead of potential return

Liam Messam is less than a week into his return to life as a full-time professional rugby player, but the former All Black is happily filling any role asked of him at his beloved Chiefs.

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The 37-year-old was called into his beloved Chiefs after the Waikato squad suffered multiple serious injuries in their loose forwards. Source: Breakfast

The 37-year-old Messam is an injury replacement for the Chiefs following season-ending injuries to Kaylum Boshier, Mitchell Karpik and Simon Parker.

But his shock return comes with plenty of gravitas with Messam holding the franchise's record for caps [179 games] and also owning the honour of captaining the side to their only two Super Rugby titles in 2012 and 2013.

Messam told the Breakfast show today his return hadn't been all plain sailing. 

"I'm just trying to get through every day at the moment," Messam said.

"Today's our day off and the body is pretty sore."

The Chiefs won't name their 23 for Saturday's game against the Blues until later in the week but whether he makes the cut or not, Messam said he's just enjoying his time being back at the club full-time.

"I've been training for a professional boxing fight so that's kept me really fit for the last 17 weeks," he said.

"But at the moment I'm just holding tackle bags and trying to get the boys ready for the game on Saturday." 

Messam said the call-up may have come as a surprise to fans, but it's something he'd discussed with the Chiefs months ago.

"They asked at the start of the season if I wanted to stay ready just in case something like this happened," he said.

"I said if you got to the last resort, which has happened, then I'd help out. It's unfortunate that it's happened to four loose forwards now, and three pretty young loose forwards.

"I feel for those guys so I'm just here to help out."

Messam hasn't hesitated to pass on some wisdom to the young squad either with their ticket already punched to the final against the Crusaders next week after Saturday's dead-rubber against the Blues.

"They've got responsibilities and they've got standards to keep," Messam said.

"There's no points on the line this week but there's still a lot of mana on the line here.

"I'm just going in there and if someone needs a word to, I'll give them a word or if they need a hand, I'll give them a hand and I'll sprinkle a few grey hairs around the team because it's pretty young."

Messam last took to the pitch in December last year when he played for the Māori All Blacks in their game against Moana Pasifika in Rotorua but has eased up his work load recently to enjoy family time.