Liam Messam discusses Springbok physicality

Liam Messam discusses Springbok physicality

Liam Messam, a celebrated hard man of the All Blacks, who currently plies his trade for Toulon in the French Top 14, has opened up about the physical challenge that comes with playing the Springboks, according to a column in thexv.rugby.


"The South Africans, though, I don’t know what it is but there’s something about them,” the 36 year old said.

“They’re all great guys off the pitch but when you’re on the field they want to hurt you.

“A few years ago, RG Snyman managed to break my nose and finger at the same time. We’d had a bit of a scuffle off the ball and a few phases later I was lining up for a carry. He was a few men inside me, so I could only really see him out of the corner of my eye but he saw me and just bee-lined straight towards me.


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“I was like, ‘Nah, surely not – he’s not going to go that far out of his way to hit me?’ But he absolutely did – he came on the angle at me, and I tried to put a shoulder on him but it didn’t stop him at all. He absolutely smashed me, busted my nose and my finger. Moments like that stick with you and I’ll always have one eye on him whenever we play.


"Physically, you always want to test where you are as a player and where you are as a team by playing the South Africans. That’s their style and that’s what won them the World Cup. You know you’re going to come up against some big units and they don’t exactly hide what their gameplan is going to be – they’re going to maul, they’re going to run it straight, they’re going to smash you.”

Between the years of 2008 and 2015 was when Messam won his 43 All Black caps. He faced the Springboks 10 times during his international career.  

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