Being an All Black and TV presenter means Liam Messam has lots of balls to juggle, but when the going gets tough, he knows he can count on CODE co-presenter Jenny-May Coffin for support.
The former Silver Fern can relate to the highs and lows of professional sport experienced by Liam – who was sin-binned, but also scored two tries in the All Blacks’ epic defeat of the Springboks in South Africa earlier this month.
The pair have become good friends working on the Maori TV sports chat show, and Liam (29) says that while his fellow CODE presenters, rugby legends Glen Osborne and Karl Te Nana and league great Awen Guttenbeil and Wairanga Koopu, gave him flak when his hamstring injury saw him sidelined from the Bledisloe Cup, his “choice auntie”, Jenny-May (39), was sympathetic.
While they obviously love sport, they both appreciate that it is not the be-all and end-all, and say their families help them to realise what is important in life.
Dad-of-one Liam reckons Jenny-May (who doesn’t have kids of her own, but is a very hands-on auntie) mothers the CODE team at times and he admires her leadership skills.
“It is pretty awesome for women in New Zealand that Jenny-May can stand up to us ugly buggers, and lead the show the same way she did when she was on court.”
He’s an intense rugby player, but Jenny-May says Liam has an easy-going personality. “On the field he isn’t afraid of confrontation, but off the field it’s the opposite,” says Jenny-May. “He’s pretty chilled.”