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NZ board ends 'troubled but talented' Guildford's contract
ESPN Staff
May 30, 2014
Zac Guildford has been playing for club sides - such as Marist Albion - this year © Getty Images
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New Zealand Rugby has terminated the contract of Zac Guildford mid-season, leaving him free to prepare for his move to France.

New Zealand Rugby general manager of rugby Neil Sorensen said the decision was made after discussions between the union, the Crusaders and Guildford, who has signed a two-year deal with Clermont Auvergne.

"We're really disappointed that Zac has not be able to achieve his full potential in New Zealand," Sorensen said. "He is a good man, talented but troubled."

Sorensen said that Guildford had struggled to meet commitments he made to himself to keep on top of personal issues. "Ultimately those issues are private to Zac but all parties agree that cutting ties now is the sensible decision. We hope that a change of environment, culture, new mates and challenges for this next stage of his young career will be the catalyst to springboard him back into the top form we know he can achieve both on and off the field."

Guildford, 25, played 10 Tests for the All Blacks between 2009 and 2012, scoring six tries, including four against Canada in his one appearance at the 2011 World Cup. But he has also battled alcohol during his career.

Guildford made his Super Rugby debut with the Hurricanes in 2008 and switched to the Crusaders in 2010. He has played 79 Super Rugby matches, but not featured in this year's competition. He has played in 2014 only for the Crusaders' development side and grassroots clubs such as Marist-Albion and Napier Tech.

Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder wished Guildford well for his fresh start in France. "There is no doubt that Zac has had some tough times in the last few years and there have been disappointments for all of us. But he's a bright young man with plenty of rugby left in him, and we will be sending our best wishes and support with him for the next step in his career and life."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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