Former All Black Guildford set for French switch

LIAM NAPIER
Last updated 01:06 10/01/2014
Zac Guildford
Getty Images
HEADING OVERSEAS: Former All Black Zac Guildford's move to France later this year will be confirmed tonight.

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Former All Black Zac Guildford's move to France later this year has been confirmed tonight.

Guildford will join Clermont Auvergne after the Super Rugby season on a two-year contract, the French Top 14 club said.

The 24-year-old, who can also play at fullback, was part of the 2011 World Cup winning squad, notably scoring four tries against Canada.

Clermont, the 2013 Heineken Cup runners-up, lead the standings in the Top 14, which they won for the first time in 2010 after 10 failed attempts in the final.

Guildford, who has an option for an extra year on his contract, is the latest addition to a series of top-notch recruits for Clermont after France lock Sebastien Vahaamahina and Wales and British & Irish Lions centre Jonathan Davies.

The timing of the contract effectively rules Guildford out of contention for a tilt at an Olympic Games medal with the sevens team in 2016. 

It may also end the prospect of him playing for the All Blacks again.  

Guildford, who played the last of his 10 tests against Ireland in Christchurch in 2012, will play this season for the Crusaders.

But it is understood he will leave for France straight after the Super Rugby campaign. An exit clause allows him to skip this year's NPC with his local province, Hawke's Bay.

Guildford will play under Clermont's new coaching staff of Franck Azema and ex-All Blacks and Waikato forward Jono Gibbes.

- Fairfax NZ, Reuters

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