Rugby: Veteran Liam Messam embracing for the unknown as career winds down

Former All Black Liam Messam is embracing the unknown as his rugby career begins to wind down.

Messam's been named in the Maori All Blacks for their clash against Moana Pasifika on Saturday - in what could be his final swansong after a 17-year-career.

The 43-test veteran hasn't been picked up by the Chiefs for 2021, and is reluctant to commit to a hard pre-season with another franchise at age 36.

So what comes after next weekend is unclear - but that's just fine with Messam, who got his first callup for the Maori's in 2006.

"To be selected for the Maori All Blacks is an honour and a privilege," Messam tells Newshub.  

"[But] rugby's not the main thing - it's a vehicle that brings us all together - it's about the culture and the boys reconnecting with their Maori side."

The question now for Messam is what to do next, with rugby being all he's known since he was 16. 

And as it stands right now, there's no fallback plan.

"I've got nothing no more, so if anyone's watching - I can't do house chores, I can't garden, I can't mow - but  I can bring you a good coffee."

For the best part of two decades, he's been all around the world playing the game he loves.

It's meant alot of time away from home and away from family, so his most important job now is being a Dad.

"When I first came back from France, I got a taste of that for 12 weeks of just being a full-time dad and going to my son's soccer games and their school things, which I've never done before."

But the fire still burns and as Messam closes in on 100 matches for Waikato, it's a milestone he'd like to tick off,  if he's wanted for the 2021 Mitre 10 Cup.

But when he does hang the boots up, you can bet he won't be far away from the action with a potential crack at coaching on the cards.

"I love the science of the game, it's sort of like a game of chess."