Liam Messam and Tim Nanai-Williams will both return to the Gallagher Chiefs for the 2017 season, bolstering the squad with over 200 combined Chiefs caps.

Fans are being encouraged to get in quick to secure their tickets for the Gallagher Chiefs match against The British & Irish Lions when tickets go on general sale tomorrow (28 October) at 12pm.

Tickets for the eagerly anticipated DHL NZ Lions Series 2017 match will be available from with adult seats available from $39.

Hamilton Mayor-Elect Andrew King said hosting The British & Irish Lions would be one of the sporting highlights for the city in 2017.

“We can all recall the last time the Lions played in Hamilton – against the New Zealand Maori - with thousands of local and visiting fans making for a tremendous occasion.

“Interest in next year’s Series is already huge and we’re anticipating the city will be awash with fans, not only for the match against the Gallagher Chiefs, but during the entire Series.”

Chiefs Chief Executive Andrew Flexman said the first ever meeting of the British & Irish Lions and the Chiefs was shaping up to be a great contest.

“The Lions will be coming to New Zealand with the best rugby players from the UK and Ireland and they’ll be out to prove themselves, but we’re confident the Chiefs will be more than up for it in front of a packed FMG Stadium Waikato.”

The public sale follows a priority period from early October with thousands of community members (including players, club members, volunteers), season ticket holders, stadium members and Team All Blacks members snapping up the available allocation of tickets.

The matches on sale exclude the All Blacks Test matches, which are only available by entering an online ballot which closes on 1 November or securing official hospitality or travel packages.  

New All Blacks prop Kane Hames and fast-paced winger Toni Pulu will continue their exciting rising rugby careers in Gallagher Chiefs colours, after committing to the two-time Investec Super Rugby champions. Hames has signed for the forthcoming 2017 season, while Pulu will don the Gallagher Chiefs jersey in 2017 and 2018.

Waikato and Counties Manukau have taken out silverware in the Jock Hobbs Memorial National Under 19 Tournament in Taupo, with Waikato winning the Graham Mourie Cup for the first time in history, and Counties Manukau winning the Michael Jones Cup for the second consecutive year.