Former All Black Norm Hewitt has approached Zac Guildford
to offer the troubled winger help in his effort to overcome an
Hewitt, who overcame his own alcohol demons after a
high-profile incident as a player, told the Herald he had
been in touch with Guildford.
He said the contact had been his initiative, but would not
comment further, including whether it would be ongoing.
"I'm not going to say any more ... I've been in contact, and
that's where I'm leaving it until we get something sorted."
Guildford's agent, Simon Porter, said Hewitt's offer of help
"The offers of support and assistance for Zac have come from
all quarters. From people who have been through this - and
that's from all walks of life."
However, Mr Porter was at pains to stress that the
cornerstone of Guildford's treatment would be expert and
"The plan isn't just getting him to talk to people who have
done it, or been through similar issues.
"That's part and parcel, but obviously we are relying on some
pretty specialist, expert, professional advice on the way
Yesterday, Guildford's housemate and friend Stu Bailey
thought the offer of help from Hewitt was "fantastic".
"The people who have been through these things themselves are
obviously the best people to offer advice," said the
43-year-old bookmaker with the TAB.
Guildford, who has played 10 tests for the All Blacks, has
withdrawn indefinitely from the Crusaders for this year's
Super rugby season following an incident at a party at a
Christchurch house on January 12.
He allegedly punched another party-goer while drunk.
Hewitt, a former All Black hooker, drunkenly broke into the
wrong Queenstown hotel room in 1999.
His actions at the time made national news, and he broke down
at a press conference organised by the NZRU to apologise for
It proved to be a life-changing moment, with Hewitt finally
realising the extent of his drinking problem.
Yesterday, Mr Bailey said Hewitt's contact was indicative of
the strong support for Guildford.
"I'm sure he's going to come out of it an even better
Mr Bailey also felt Guildford could take heart from the
turnaround of another embattled Kiwi sports star, cricketer
"Zac [knows] Jesse and I'm sure Jesse will offer his support
if he hasn't already," Mr Bailey said.
"Jesse is a real example of how you can better yourself.
"He's another sportsman with a terrific amount of ability.
"And if you take the complications out of his life, then you
see the benefits of that - he's probably never played better
cricket than he is right now."
- Nicholas Jones and Kurt Bayer