Crusaders' Zac Guildford to seek treatment

Last updated 13:32 26/01/2013
Zac Guildford
KIRK HARGREAVES/Fairfax NZ

SEEKING HELP: Troubled Crusaders wing Zac Guildford has stepped away from the team to concentrate on seeking treatment for alcohol problems.

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Crusaders wing Zac Guildford has withdrawn indefinitely from the Crusaders for the 2013 super rugby season, following another incident involving alcohol.

He would be undertaking an intensive treatment programme to address ongoing personal issues, the New Zealand Rugby Union said today.

NZRU chief executive Steve Tew said the past week had been challenging for all involved.

"We are working closely with the players' association and his (Guildford's) manager to ensure that he gets the professional help he needs and is held accountable for his actions."

The issue was an employment matter and the NZRU must ensure the process respected Guildford's right to a fair hearing and the NZRU's legal obligations as an employer.

"We also have a responsibility to the wider game and all those who support it. We are working hard to deliver on our obligations to the game," Tew said.

"Zac's withdrawal from the Crusaders means they are able to concentrate on preparing for their 2013 season, and Zac will be free from rugby to concentrate on resolving his personal issues.

"We will remain in touch with Zac to monitor his progress and will address the issue of misconduct at the appropriate time."

New Zealand Rugby Players Association chief executive Rob Nichol said: "Zac has a renewed acceptance of the challenges he faces. 

"We have taken the advice of experts and Zac is committed to the plan they have developed. It is fundamental that he commits fully to the plan, and sees it through," Nichol said.

"This means withdrawing from the rugby environment.

"We are all supporting Zac during what will be a challenging time. Zac himself wants to make the most of the opportunity provided and is very appreciative of the support he is receiving."

Guildford, 23, admitted being involved in a serious incident after attending a private house party earlier this month.

That came after Guildford rejoined the Crusaders on a final warning after several misconduct charges by the NZRU.

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