14 Dec 2011

All Black Guildford suspended for four weeks

11:22 pm on 14 December 2011

All Blacks winger Zac Guildford is suspended from rugby for the first four weeks of the new season, after a misconduct hearing by the New Zealand Rugby Union into incidents in the Cook Islands in November.

The NZRU has deemed his behaviour was unprofessional and brought the game into disrepute.

Other sanctions imposed on Guildford include a requirement to undergo alcohol treatment and counselling as directed at his own expense.

Professional rugby general manager Neil Sorensen says the NZRU and Guildford agreed that professional treatment and counselling was an essential part of his rehabilitation.

Guildford will miss three warm-up matches and the Crusaders first match against the Blues at Eden Park on 24 February. The NZRU says termination of Guildford's contract was a definite possibility.

Canterbury Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder says the most important part of the penalty against Guildford is that he gets help for his alcohol problem.

Blackadder says Guildford has said he won't drink for a year and is getting some good therapy.

However, the coach says there are no more chances, and if there are any more misconduct issues Guildford will be gone from the Crusaders.

Cook Islands News managing editor John Woods believes Guildford should be sent back to Rarotonga for community service to learn a lesson for his drunk behaviour and apologise to the people he offended.