Liam Messam and Ma'a Nonu have made a heartfelt tribute on social media to their former All Black teammate Sione Lauaki.

Lauaki, who played 17 tests for the All Blacks and made 70 appearances for the Chiefs, passed away aged 35 on February 12, 2017, due to renal failure.

The news of Lauaki's death led to an outpouring of grief in the New Zealand rugby community, as well as in Brisbane, where some of his former teammates, including Messam, were competing in the inaugural tens tournament.

Messam considered returning to New Zealand when he found out Lauaki had passed away but instead of flying home, the former Chiefs captain decided to dedicate the game to his friend and propel his side to the title.


Never above, never below, always beside you @waxd1s @maanonu #doxbrothers💔💛💚

Posted by Liam Messam on Friday, 9 November 2018

More than a year on, Messam is still celebrating his fallen teammate, on Friday publishing a powerful Facebook post which read: "Never above, never below, always beside you".

Messam also uploaded a picture with Nonu at Lauaki's grave.

The post has received thousands of likes and has been shared more than 200 times.

Nonu, a 103-cap All Black, announced earlier this year that he had re-signed with the struggling Blues after a long stint abroad.

The double World Cup winner has had two previous stints with the club (in 2012 and 2014).

Lauaki was part of the All Blacks squad that contested the 2007 World Cup, taking the field against Italy, Portugal, Scotland and Romania in pool games, but was suspended for two games for a high tackle against Romania.