Liam Messam (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - Chiefs
and All Blacks back-row Liam Messam has been called up to be a reserve
for New Zealand's Sevens squad at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
Lewis Ormond has replaced Teddy Stanaway, who was ruled out of the
Games after breaking his hand during a training match against the USA at
their Florida camp, with Messam added to the squad as injury cover.
"It’s really unfortunate," New Zealand Sevens head coach Gordon Tietjens told allblacks.com of Stanaway's injury.
"He worked so hard to make the side.
"It was devastating for him and he took it so well, as well as he
could. He’s a proud guy and we’re really disappointed for him."
Messam echoed Tietjens' sentiments but didn't hesitate when offered the chance, by Tietjens, to fly over as a replacement.
"I was just at home and got a weird phone call from Tietj pretty late
at night, I think it was midnight, he must've just landed in Rio,"
Messam told TVNZ.
"He (Tietjens) asked if I was fit and I told him I was fit.
"At the moment I am feeling for my mate Teddy. He has trained his butt off to get to where he was."