Guildford gets another chance
Zac Guildford has been cleared to continue his Crusaders career after a New Zealand Rugby Union disciplinary hearing.
The All Blacks winger was stood down by the Crusaders as he underwent treatment for an alcohol problem after an alleged altercation at a party following a drinking binge.
Guildford had been involved in two other alcohol-related incidents inside 15 months and there was speculation that the NZRU could tear up his contract after this latest indiscretion.
"This decision was not reached lightly or hastily, and follows a very thorough misconduct process and consultation with medical experts," NZRU General Manager of Professional Rugby Neil Sorensen said in a statement.
"Despite the serious misconduct, we found that there were sufficient mitigating circumstances to believe that Zac can continue to make a significant contribution to New Zealand rugby provided that he observes the conditions and continues with his path to recovery."
Guildford played for his Hawke's Bay club side last weekend before appearing at the hearing.
"I have accepted that I have challenges that will be with me for life and that it is up to me to continually work at managing them," he said.
"I know I have apologised for my behaviour before and that people's patience has grown thin.
"I am hugely grateful that I have been given this opportunity to show that I really am serious about getting my life heading in the right direction."
Guildford is expected to return to Crusaders' training this week, but he was not included in their squad for Saturday's match against the Bulls.