The Chiefs won't need much external motivation before their match against the British and Irish Lions - their shot at trying to replicate the recent feats of the Blues and Highlanders speaks for itself.

And besides, there are various individuals within the team who will provide it tomorrow night. Perhaps the most inspirational of those will be loose forward Liam Messam, an absolute warrior for the New Zealand Maori against the tourists on a wet and miserable night in Rotorua, and who is preparing to back up again three days later.

Messam, who scored the only try for the Maori, and got through 80 minutes of hard slog before switching to recovery mode via the healing properties of Rotorua's famous thermal waters - and plenty of sleep - rolled out of bed this morning to face the media at Waikato Stadium and spoke of his unique opportunity for his franchise.

Messam has been named on the reserves bench against the Lions, but will enter the fray in the second half and by that time he will be more than ready for battle again.


He and assistant coach Neil Barnes addressed the media in the Chiefs gym under the main stand at Waikato Stadium and noticeable to many of the visitors would have been the chart on the wall detailing the various strength and speed records of the players over the years. Prominent among them is Messam, a 33-year-old still at the peak of his powers.

"The body is a little sore as you would expect, but I'm looking forward to having another opportunity against these guys and come tomorrow night, back out here on my home pitch in front of our fans, I know those guys will get me up," Messam said.

"It's a once in a lifetime opportunity to play these guys and I'm lucky enough to get two cracks."

The Chiefs will fancy their chances against the Lions due to the fact that Warren Gatland has named effectively a B team ahead of Saturday's first test against the All Blacks at Eden Park, and their extra preparation time compared with the Maori who were together for less than a week.

Dave Rennie's men will have watched as the Lions have refined their game plan over their past five matches and will know that Gatland's shadow test side has nowhere near the power in the pack his top team does.

The Chiefs will likely gain parity or even have an advantage in the scrum, as the Highlanders did. If they do that and nullify the Lions' lineout drive, anything can happen.

In commenting on the Lions' 32-10 victory over the Maori, Messam said: "They played really well in the second half against us. They trapped us in our own half and strangled us, really."

But he also added: "The Maori only had a short preparation. I know our guys have been training really well to handle those sorts of situations."

Gatland may be keeping an eye on the first test, but his Lions team are on the brink of another significant challenge.

Before Messam eased his frame off the chair, he couldn't resist a question about captain Stephen Donald's engagement, revealed by Gatland, which apparently consisted of a whitebaiting expedition and the presenting of a ring near the back of Donald's ute.

"I think they're going to write another movie about him...," Messam said. "No, good on him, it's about time he grew up."