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New Zealand Rugby
Guildford admits he needs help
ESPNscrum Staff
November 14, 2011

All Blacks winger Zac Guildford has admitted he needs help after a drunken rampage whilst on holiday in the Cook Islands.

Guildford, whose drinking problem surfaced during the recent Rugby World Cup, has been accused of assaulting a man while running naked through a bar in Rarotonga last weekend. The 22-year-old responded to the latest embarrassing episode in an apologetic statement sent out through his employers, the New Zealand Rugby Union.

"Firstly, I would like to apologise for my behaviour here in Rarotonga on Thursday night," read the statement. "I have no clear recollection of the events of that night but there is no doubt that my behaviour was unacceptable and I am hugely embarrassed by what happened.

"I want to apologise to the people who I was involved with and offended that night, the patrons and staff who witnessed my behaviour, and the Cook Island people. I am truly sorry for what I did. I also want to apologise to my family for the embarrassment my actions have caused.

"I don't want any sympathy for the situation I have ended up in, but I am thankful for the support I have received so far from so many people. It's obvious that I need help and I want to get home and to get that help as soon as I can. I need to sort myself out."

Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder spoke to Guildford yesterday and told the New Zealand Herald that the player was "devastated". "He's really hurting and ashamed," Blackadder said. "He can't remember anything but he acknowledges that it happened. Just talking to him, he has hit rock bottom.

"I think that for the very first time, Zac has acknowledged that he's got an issue, that he can't control his drinking, and it's obviously causing a lot of issues, not only for himself but also his family as well. Maybe some good can really come out of the fact that he acknowledges he really needs help. It's a time when we need to support him rather than judge him."

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