Former All Black and Magpie wing Zac Guildford quit the Waratahs for "wellbeing reasons" according to coach Daryl Gibson.
Gibson, himself a former All Black back, told the Sydney Morning Herald the Waratahs "probably cared for him on a personal level too much" but Gibson refused to comment on whether Guildford was dealing with the alcohol related issues which have plagued him in the past.
Gibson said: "I'm not at a level to talk around that sort of stuff. I want to respect his privacy.
"Everything was just becoming too much of a struggle for him. He's going to go back home and his future lies in New Zealand.
"It's been difficult as a club. We've done everything we can to support him...he'll continue to have his challenges and the best thing for him is to be at home.
"...it's been challenge after challenge for him and it was always going to be like that. I certainly have no regrets in offering a bloke an opportunity and a bloke a chance and he came here and gave it a good crack. Zac's struggles are different to other players ... his challenges are off the field."
Gibson praised the attitude of the Waratahs squad towards Guildford, who played 10 tests for New Zealand up until 2012.
"We were part of his journey towards finding peace with himself," Gibson said.
"We certainly supported everything that we could for him and in a few years time we'll look back and go: 'you know what, we've helped that young man' and so I'm very proud of offering him that opportunity."
West Harbour president Geoff Threlfo told the SMH that Guildford had contributed plenty and they would welcome him back at the Sydney club.