Troubled Guilford to miss semi-final

Date published: October 16 2015

Zac Guilford has confirmed he will not be available for selection for Hawke's Bay in their NPC semi-final clash.

The All Black will miss the fixture due to "personal reasons". Rumours suggest that Guilford is blaming himself for his teams Ranfurly Shield Loss to Waikato last Friday, as he was yellow carded for a lifting tackle.

Following a family dinner, Guilford's grandmother June Burt said he was quite depressed.

"I've never seen him so happy," she confirmed to Stuff.

"He's sick, he needs help…I mean he got some rehabilitation and all that but deep down there's something there. He's a troubled boy, really. You can have thousands of fans and still have no-one close."

Meanwhile, Mike Bishop, Hawke's Bay Rugby Union CEO, was thoroughly annoyed with Guilford.

"I've had enough of talking about Zac Guildford for now," he said. 

"I've given the reason and I'm not prepared to elaborate any further."

Guilford has signed a contract with the NSW Waratahs for the 2016 Super Rugby season. Despite his troubles, coach Daryl Gibson believes his new player can overcome the issues.

"I've spoken with Zac extensively and he is prepared to earn the respect of his team-mates through his actions, and to uphold the values of our club," said Gibson.

"The coaching staff at Hawke's Bay were generous enough to allow him some time to visit us for a few days and it gave us the opportunity to make our expectations really clear to Zac about being here at the Waratahs.

"He's probably been carrying that 'bad-boy' baggage around with him for the past few years and from my observations he has moved past it and grown up a bit – his challenge will be to demonstrate he can make good choices and prove that."