Guildford agrees to play Super Rugby for Waratahs

Zac Guildford will play Super Rugby for the Waratahs in 2016

Former Crusaders and All Black winger Zac Guildford has agreed a move to Sydney
where he will play Super Rugby for the Waratahs in 2016.

Guildford has signed a short-term contract for 10 months and will join the
Waratahs at the conclusion of the New Zealand ITM Cup tournament, where he is
contracted to the Hawke’s Bay Magpies.

Head Coach Daryl Gibson said the signing of 26 year-old Guildford would provide
an instant solution to the loss of a number of senior players at the conclusion
of the 2015 season.

“There were a few reasons we opted to sign Zac, not having three of our
starting outside backs in Ashley-Cooper, Naiyaravoro, and Betham was a big drain
on experience in the backs,” Gibson said.

“We’ve got some excellent young emerging prospects in the squad,
like Andrew Kellaway, Henry Clunies-Ross, and Harry Jones – all of whom
will be quality players given time – but I felt like I needed a ready-made
player who has been proven at Super Rugby level.

Gibson acknowledged that Guildford would face a challenging environment to
earn the respect of his teammates at the NSW Waratahs following a tumultuous
few years in professional rugby.

“I’ve spoken with Zac extensively, and he is prepared to earn the respect of
his teammates through his actions, and to uphold the values of our club,” Gibson

“The coaching staff at Hawkes 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.

“Of course his signature comes with risks for both parties, but we strongly
believe in his ability and will support him with his efforts to continue his
rugby career, he’s highly motivated and aspirational about his career
– so our challenge will be to get the best out of him.

Gibson is confident the team environment will prove to be positive for Guildford,
and said he was thrilled to have a player of his calibre in the playing group.
“This is a great opportunity for Zac, and he’s got plenty to prove
so it will be up to him to create a good outcome for both himself and the team.

“We’re prepared to build the support systems around him so he can
thrive and be successful, and I’m excited to work with him again and see what
he can teach our young players; and watch him combine with some of Australia’s
best talent on the field.”

Guildford played 11 Tests for the All Blacks, debuting against Wales in 2009,
and was a part of the 2011 World Cup winning squad. He started his Super Rugby
career with the Hurricanes in 2008, playing 18 matches before moving to the
Crusaders ahead of the 2010 season.

He earned 61 Caps for the Crusaders, and has also represented New Zealand Maori
and New Zealand Sevens, winning a Commonwealth Games gold medal in 2010 in Delhi.
He most recently played for French Top 14 club Clermont Auvergne.

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