WELLINGTON - The Chiefs will not shy away from the emotion that comes with playing in a Super Rugby final and saying goodbye to teammates according to co-captain Liam Messam.
Fellow skipper Craig Clarke, Richard Kahui, Lelia Masaga, Toby Smith and Brendon Leonard will all say their farewells after the season finale against the ACT Brumbies in Hamilton on Saturday.
Messam is confident the players won't be consumed by the hype and sentiment of the week — and the possibility of winning back-to-back titles.
"We'll walk towards that. We know this team works best with a bit of emotion," the All Black loose forward added.
"We've got some real Chiefs legends that are leaving. But the bigger picture, and those guys all agree, is that we've got an opportunity to win a title.
"It's really tough to see them leave but I'm going to give everything I can, especially for those guys to finish on a winning note."
The Bulls were the last franchise to win back-to-back titles, with victories in 2009 and 2010.
Before them, doubles were achieved by the Blues (1996-97) and the Crusaders (2005-06). The Crusaders also achieved a hat-trick from 1998-2000.
"It's a life-changing moment if you win this thing," Messam said.
"Hopefully we can prepare right and just really fly into things on Saturday."
History is not on the side of the Jake White-coached Brumbies.
The 2000 Crusaders were the last to win the title on foreign soil when they beat the Brumbies by a point in Canberra.
The Brumbies will have also racked up almost 30,000 kilometres by the time they touch down in Hamilton and will be in their third different time zone.
But Messam believes playing in a final will make the travel factor redundant.
"It's two teams going out there to lift that trophy, which is what everyone works out for for nine months of the year," he said.
"I don't think the travel is going to play a factor. It's going to be two teams going out there to really smash each other and get that title."