New Zealand

Zac 'sorry' for naked, drunken binge

Mon, 14 Nov 2011 00:00
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All Black wing Zac Guildford apologised Monday for a drunken binge that ended with him staggering naked and bleeding into a bar then assaulting two people.

Guildford said he could not clearly recall his night out in the small South Pacific nation of the Cook Islands last Thursday, "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," he said in a statement issued by the New Zealand Union (NZRU).

"I am truly sorry for what I did."

Guildford added: "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."

The 22-year-old, who has a history of problems with alcohol and was publicly reprimanded by All Blacks management during the recent World Cup, said he would seek treatment when he returned to New Zealand.

"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," he said.

"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."

Guildford did not detail what occurred, but Jack Cooper, the owner of the popular Trader Jacks Bar in Rarotonga, said the wing stumbled into the waterfront venue and hit two patrons, one of whom was celebrating his 60th birthday.

"It wasn't until he was corralled to the stage that he realised he was naked and he started to apologise to everyone," Cooper told Radio New Zealand.

"I don't know where he was in his head but certainly he wasn't on earth."

The Herald on Sunday newspaper reported Guildford appeared at the bar dripping wet, naked and bleeding from cuts believed to have come from a motorcycle accident earlier in the day.

During the All Blacks' tournament-winning World Cup campaign, Guildford admitted he had an alcohol problem and said he was taking steps to bring it under control.

After news of Guildford's latest binge broke on Sunday, the NZRU revealed he had been called before the NZ Board three times in the past 18 months.

Guildford's coach at the Crusaders Super Rugby team, Todd Blackadder, said the Rarotonga incident had left the player at "rock bottom".

"I think that up until now Zac's felt that there hasn't really been a problem and he's managed to have it under control but at times like this, he's probably hit rock bottom," he told talk-back station Radio Sport on Monday.

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