Former All Black eyes 'Tahs move

    2015-07-29 07:09

    Wellington - Troubled former All Black Zac Guildford said on Wednesday the Waratahs had offered him a contract for next season, handing yet another lifeline to the one-time bad boy of New Zealand rugby.

    Still only 26, Guildford's career has been blighted by alcohol issues and he walked out of a contract with French Top 14 side Clermont in May citing "personal reasons".

    Since then, the wing - who scored six tries in 10 Tests for the All Blacks - has been playing for his home provincial team Hawke's Bay.

    Guildford said Waratahs coach Daryl Gibson had approached him about joining the Sydney-based Super Rugby side, who lost wingers Peter Betham and Taqele Naiyaravoro at the end of the 2015 season.

    Guildford and Gibson, himself a former All Black, worked together when Gibson was assistant coach at the Crusaders.

    "I had a little bit of interest from New Zealand Super teams but I got on really well with Daryl Gibson at the Crusaders," Guildford told Radio Sport.

    "I felt like I was appreciated and I played some of my best rugby under him. If I can get excited about playing for someone in a team that I'm excited about, that's when I play my best footy."

    Guildford was relishing the prospect of playing alongside Waratahs Kurtley Beale and Bernard Foley, saying they could create gaps for him to exploit.

    He said the move to the 2014 Super Rugby champions had not been finalised but was "looking likely".

    "I've got the contract there and it's just about inking it and going from there, finding a place to live and things like that," he said.

    Guildford made his All Black debut against Wales in 2009 at the age of 20 and was part of the 2011 World Cup winning squad.

    His alcohol problems first emerged publicly during the tournament, when he was reprimanded by All Blacks' management.

    Just weeks later, he had a meltdown while holidaying in the Cook Islands, running naked into a bar and punching two men.

    Then in January 2013 he allegedly became involved in a brawl at a party in Christchurch, prompting him temporarily to withdraw from rugby and seek help.

    His issues stem in part from the personal tragedy that struck him in 2009, when his father died of a heart attack while watching from the stands as his son and his New Zealand team-mates won the Junior World Cup in Tokyo.

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