Zac Guildford's honesty saved his career

By APNZ

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Zac Guildford's "brutal honesty" has seen him receive yet another lifeline from the New Zealand Rugby Union.


The troubled wing fronted the media at the new NZRU building this morning and admitted that he is an alcoholic.


The NZRU's general manager of professional rugby, Neil Sorensen, said even up until last night termination of Guildford's contract would have been the easier option for both parties.


But Sorensen said they felt as though Guildford was being completely honest with them as he bore his soul to his employers.


Sorensen said this wasn't another trip to the last chance saloon for the Crusaders flyer.


"I think we've proven that we deal with every incident on its merits."


Guildford faced a misconduct hearing this week after allegedly punching a party-goer while drunk in Christchurch in late January. He voluntarily stood down from the Crusaders after previously being censured by the NZRU for an incident in Rarotonga following the World Cup in which he hit someone in a bar, also while under the effects of alcohol.


He was allowed to play club rugby on Saturday for his Hawkes Bay club, Napier Tech.


Guildford, who was a World Cup winner in 2011 and has played 10 tests for the All Blacks, said he had given up the drink finally.

"I'm just grateful for another opportunity," he said.


He mentioned he had recently done a stint in rehab where he admitted he had a problem and acceptance of that was the first step on the road to recovery.


Guildford will head back to Christchurch this week to join the Crusaders.

- HAWKES BAY TODAY

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