Former All Black Liam Messam signs with French club Toulon

Messam will play his 150th game for the Chiefs before departing at the end of the upcoming season.
Messam will play his 150th game for the Chiefs before departing at the end of the upcoming season. Photo credit: Photosport

Former All Blacks forward Liam Messam has made if official with France's Toulon, signing a two-year deal with the glamour club from the end of the 2018 Super Rugby season.

The 33-year-old was in demand with a number of Northern sides, including Lyon, but it was the Southern French club which ultimately won his signature, confirming his acquisition on social media overnight (NZT).

"Welcome Liam Messam to Toulon for the next two seasons," they said via Twitter.

With two experienced loose forwards in Duane Vermeulen and Juan-Martin Fernandez Lobbe deaprting at the end of the Top 14 season the cash-rich club were eager to replace the pair with players of a similar calibre.

They're certainly halfway there after earning the services of Messam, a seasoned campaigner at all levels, and in all formats, of the game.

The versatile forward has played 43 Tests for the All Blacks, including a World Cup triumph in 2015, and is set to surpass the 170-game mark for the Chiefs this year.

He captained the New Zealand sevens side to an IRB World series title in 2015,while winning Commwealth Games gold medals with the side in both 2006 and 2010.

Of proud Ngāi Tūhoe heritage, he captained the NZ Maori side on a number of occasions and was named the Māori Player of the Year through consecutive campaigns in 2012 and 2013.

It's understood Toulon is also chasing Messam's longtime teammate Jerome Kaino, who's believed to be leaving the Blues after the upcoming Super Rugby season.

Messam will be joining a host of former All Blacks with Ma'a Nonu, Malakai Fekitoa, Luke McAlister, Alby Mathewson all currently contracted to the club.

Newshub.