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New Zealand Rugby
Guildford handed one-match ban
ESPNscrum Staff
December 14, 2011
New Zealand winger Zac Guildford crosses for his hat-trick try, New Zealand v Canada, Wellington Stadium, New Zealand, October 2, 2011
Zac Guildford will miss the start of the Super Rugby season © Getty Images
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All Blacks winger Zac Guildford will miss one Super Rugby match for his club the Crusaders following his drunken rampage in the Cook Islands last month.

Guildford's punishment was handed down by a New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRU) misconduct hearing, who deemed his actions to be unprofessional and also brought the game into disrepute. The 22-year-old stumbled drunk, naked and bleeding into a Rarotonga bar before assaulting two patrons and a Cook Islands triathlete.

The NZRU also ordered Guildford to undertake alcohol treatment and counselling at his own expense. NZRU general manager Neil Sorensen said the disciplinary panel took into account Guildford's previous indiscretions before handing down their verdict.

"Taking players out of rugby is not something we do lightly. But we have taken into account the fact that with regard to alcohol-related behaviour, Zac does not have an exemplary record.

"On this occasion, he embarrassed himself, his family, his team-mates, and New Zealand Rugby. We believe Zac brought the game into disrepute and the sanctions reflect the gravity of the situation and the need for a real pathway to recovery.

"To his credit, Zac himself has agreed that he needs assistance and recognises that both the NZRU and the Crusaders support him taking time to get himself right," Sorensen said.

Guildford will not be able to play in the Crusaders' three pre-season fixtures in February or the opening match of the Super Rugby season against the Blues at Eden Park.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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