Super Rugby’s organising body Sanzaar have ruled that former Chiefs captain Liam Messam ineligible to play for the Chiefs in the play offs.
Sanzaar made the decision late on Sunday evening and around six hours before the Chiefs were to leave for the airport to travel to Cape Town.
Messam joined the Chiefs after the June Interationals as injury cover having concentrated on trying to make the Olympics sevens squad.
Sanzaar ruled that as he was not part of the orginal squad of 40 players before April 1 and had not played four regular season matches he could not play in the knock out stage.
Messam made just two appearance and played against the Reds and Highlanders.
The Chiefs are understood to be furious not only at the decision but more so due to the time it took for Sanzaar to make the decision at they applied earlier in the week.
“There’s been a lot of deliberation over this,” SANZAAR media and communications manager Greg Thomas told Stuff.
“Special dispensation hasn’t been granted because SANZAAR are satisfied that the Chiefs can field a normal, full-strength side of 23 players for the following match.”
As Messam cannot play in the knock out stages they have called in Tevita Koloamatangi.
Chiefs traveling squad (revised)
Kane Hames, Mitchell Graham, Atu Moli, Siegfried Fisi’ihoi, Siate Tokolahi, Hika Elliot, Nathan Harris, Dominic Bird, Brodie Retallick, Lachlan Boshier, Tom Sanders, Sam Cane, Taleni Seu, Tevita Koloamatangi
Tawera Kerr-Barlow, Brad Weber, Aaron Cruden, James Lowe, Damian McKenzie, Anton Lienert-Brown, Stephen Donald, Sam McNicol, Sam Vaka, Toni Pulu, Shaun Stevenson.