Rugby Championship: Liam Messam ruled out of New Zealand team
Last Updated: 17/08/13 11:03am
Liam Messam: Ruled out of New Zealand team due to injury
New Zealand have suffered a late injury blow ahead of Saturday's opening Rugby Championship match against Australia after Liam Messam pulled a hamstring in training.
Messam had been named in the starting XV at blindside flanker by head coach Steve Hansen before being forced to withdraw from the team.
Initial reports suggested the Chiefs forward could be on the sidelines for up to three weeks.
"Gutted to miss out on pulling on the black jersey for this weekend," Messam said on his official Twitter account. "Time to ice up and rest up and next week is a new week."
Steven Luatua has replaced Messam in the All Blacks team for the game at Sydney's Olympic Stadium after initially being released to play for Auckland in New Zealand's domestic provincial championship this weekend.
Luatua, 22, has made only one Test appearance in the final match of the three-game series against France in June.
New Zealand: Dagg, B Smith, C Smith, Nonu, Savea, Cruden, A Smith, Read, McCaw (capt), Luatua, Whitelock, Romano, Franks, Hore, Woodcock.
Replacements: Mealamu, Franks, Faumuina, Retallick, Cane, Kerr-Barlow, Barrett, Crotty.