Guilford joins French exodus
All Black wing Zac Guildford has signed a three-year contract with French club Clermont Auvergne.
All Black wing Zac Guildford has signed a three-year contract with French club Clermont.
The 24-year-old played the last of his 10 Tests for New Zealand in 2012, but now seems unlikely to reclaim a Test place.
His career has been soured by several alcohol-related incidents, including a 2011 case when he was arrested in the Cook Islands over a drunken assault and running around naked.
He will take the place of another former All Blacks wing, Sitiveni Sivivatu, who has left Clermont to join Castres.
Guildford said leaving New Zealand to play for Clermont was not an easy decision but felt like the right move to make.
“I am hugely grateful for all of the opportunities I have been given here in New Zealand. I have had the honour of playing at the highest level, and I have been fortunate enough to be given second chances.
“Playing for Clermont presents new and exciting challenges and I believe that the time is right for me to take this opportunity.
“Until then, I am going to make the most of the upcoming season with the Crusaders and enjoy playing with the amazing teammates I have here,” Guildford said.
Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder said Guildford would play out the 2014 Crusaders season and leave for France following that.
“Zac has been a core member of the Crusaders since he came on board in 2010. He is a gifted player and has a real passion for the game.
“He will certainly be missed by his Crusaders teammates but we still have the upcoming season ahead of us and I am sure Zac will continue to be a valuable member of the squad until his departure,” Blackadder said.