Super Rugby organizers SANZAAR have ruled All Blacks flanker Liam Messam ineligible to play for the Chiefs in the tournament playoffs which start this weekend.
Messam rejoined the Hamilton-based Chiefs for their final regular season match against the Highlanders on Saturday after missing most of the season while playing for the New Zealand sevens team.
The 43-test veteran was able to return to Super Rugby when he was omitted from the New Zealand squad for the Rio de Janiero Olympics.
But SANZAAR has ruled Messam cannot take part in the playoffs because he did not play four matches during the regular season. Messam played only two.
The Chiefs asked for dispensation to play Messam as an injury replacement but SANZAAR has ruled they have adequate backrow cover.