All Black Zac Guildford, who has struggled with a
drinking problem, says he has changed his ways and now trusts
himself to enjoy one or two drinks with friends.
The 23-year-old vowed to give up alcohol after a drunken
rampage in the Cook Islands last November. The Crusaders
player was suspended for four weeks by the NZRU, and
according to his coach vowed to give up alcohol until the end
However, he was photographed drinking beer at Ellerslie
Racecourse yesterday while watching the Melbourne Cup. He
looked relaxed while chatting with female fans who approached
him for photographs, and appeared to be in good spirits.
Guildford's agent, Simon Porter, said the All Black had come
a long way from the situation he had found himself in last
"Zac has met all of his commitments to his coaches, teammates
and the NZRU since the incident last year. He is really
comfortable with where he is at and trusts himself to enjoy
himself with friends socially," Mr Porter told the Herald.
Guildford, playing for the Crusaders this season, received
support from the NZ Rugby Union following the Cook Islands
At the time, NZRU professional rugby general manager Neil
Sorensen said the drunken behaviour had been "incredibly
disappointing" for the union, but had agreed to help the star
wing get back on track; organising for him to see a
Guildford had already been warned about his drinking. He had
attended a press conference in Christchurch during the World
Cup to apologise for behaviour under the influence, before
going on to allegedly assault two patrons in Trader Jacks bar
in Avarua and harass triathlete Kelly Pick while in the Cook
Islands for a wedding.
After the incident, Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder said
Guildford had vowed to give up drinking until at least the
end of 2012, which he was pleased about.
"What he went through is hopefully going to be a
life-changing experience," Blackadder said at the time.
"There's no second chance to learn here. I think that's
"There are no more misconducts, if there's anything remotely
close then he's gone."
- Vaimoana Tapaleao, NZ Herald