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16 Nov 2011 09:06
The New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRU) will give disgraced All Blacks winger Zac Guildford external support to help him overcome a problem with alcohol after a drunken rampage in the Cook Islands last week.
Guildford arrived back in New Zealand early on Wednesday after Cook Islands police allowed him to leave the country following his rampage when he stormed into a Rarotonga bar naked, bleeding and punched two customers late last week.
Local media also reported that Guildford had verbally harassed a Cooks Islands national representative triathlete while under the influence of alcohol when he was there.
“From an employer’s perspective, the events in Rarotonga have been incredibly disappointing and Zac needs to be accountable for his actions,” NZRU general manager of professional rugby Neil Sorensen said in a statement.
“This will involve Zac going through our misconduct process over the coming weeks ... However, it is fairly clear that there are some very big issues involved here, and rugby cannot provide all the solutions on our own ...
We are working with a professional counselling organisation which will provide guidance and input as to the next steps for the coming days, weeks and months.”
The 22-year-old Guildford, a member of New Zealand’s World Cup winning squad, has previously come under fire for drink-related incidents while in camp with the All Blacks and he said he had a problem with alcohol.
“The last few months I have had a bit of a problem with drinking and I need to address that, and all I can do now is move forward and put some positive steps in place with a good support group I have,” Guildford told reporters at Auckland airport.
“My actions were not that of a professional sportsman, which I’m disappointed with.
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