Rugby Union

Former New Zealand All Blacks rugby winger Zac Guildford eyes redemption

Zac Guildford is chasing the ultimate redemption story to return to the All Blacks side he last played for in 2012 after a protracted battle with alcoholism.

The 26-year-old, who signed a 10-month contract with the Waratahs ahead of the 2016 Super Rugby season, has a history of alcohol-related issues that first came to light in 2011 when a naked, drunk and bleeding Guildford allegedly assaulted two holidaymakers in a Rarotonga bar.

Up Next

Watling: Australia's return to form no surprise

null
Video duration
00:27

More Sports HQ Videos

Sport: The week's best plays

From beating the buzzer to breaking droughts, these are the most exciting, silly and downright crazy plays in the sporting world this week.

In November 2015, he was stood down by his provincial team, Hawke's Bay, following a binge after their Ranfurly Shield loss to Waikato.

The winger, who has 11 caps for the All Blacks, is now determined to stay off the alcohol in a bid to resurrect his career after being thrown a lifeline by Waratahs coach Daryl Gibson, who previously coached him at the Crusaders.

Speaking to Fairfax Media, Guildford said: "I would be lying if I said no. I definitely feel like I have a point to prove.

"I'm going to take baby steps. I just want to get the basics right first and other stuff will come from there, but that would be the ultimate goal, wouldn't it? The ultimate redemption story by getting back into the All Blacks."

Advertisement

For now, though, the former Hurricanes and Crusaders flyer is relishing the opportunity to add to his 79 caps in Super Rugby after leaving halfway through a two-year deal with French club Clermont Auvergne in May 2015.

Guildford had publicly cited family reasons and his disillusion with Northern Hemisphere rugby, and will be keen to step back into the competition where he played himself into the national side.

"When I went to France I didn't enjoy the rugby there too much and it was always a goal of mine to play Super Rugby again and to have that opportunity here was awesome and something I really enjoy at the moment," he said.

"I'm really looking forward to playing the Kiwi teams in particular."

Advertisement

2 comments