Guildford admission vital in NZRU decision

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    Troubled All Blacks winger Zac Guildford’s admission that he is an alcoholic played a huge part in the New Zealand Rugby Union’s (NZRU) decision to continue his professional rugby career.

    Guildford admitted at a media conference on Thursday that he was an alcoholic and said he accepted he had challenges that would stay with him for life.

    “I think my understanding was limited around alcoholism and the issue I had. That’s the first step, admitting I was powerless over alcohol and, once I realised that, everything became a bit easier,” he said.

    “I don’t think I need sympathy – I’ve made mistakes and now I’m just looking forward to bettering my future.”

    The decision comes after the NZRU met Guildford and his representatives in Auckland on Wednesday, after a misconduct hearing on Tuesday.

    Guildford says his turning point came during a month-long stay in a rehabilitation facility.

    “The first step was acceptance. I went away to a facility for 28 days where I learned lot. I guess I went in there thinking I knew it all, but I didn’t.

    “And that’s when I got out of the denial stage and started accepting who I am.”

    In January, the 11-Test All Black withdrew from the Crusaders indefinitely after being involved in the latest alcohol-related incident to blight his career.

    Guildford had previously been called before the NZRU three times in 18 months on alcohol-related issues.

    The troubled winger ran into problems while on holiday in Rarotonga in November 2011, and vowed to give up alcohol after a naked, drunken night out in which he allegedly harassed a female jogger and then, after shedding his clothes and with blood streaming from his head, attacked two men in a bar.

    The NZRU’s general manager of professional rugby, Neil Sorensen, said the decision wasn’t reached lightly or hastily, and followed a “very thorough” misconduct process and consultation with medical experts.

    “Zac’s under no illusion this was a really close call,” Sorensen said.

    “Termination was absolutely on the table, even up until last night. It wasn’t easy and it certainly wasn’t pre-determined.

    “In fact, I think an easier decision would have been to terminate – I think we’ve made a tough decision but the right decision.”

    No further public statements will be made around the details of the misconduct hearing or the basis on which reinstatement was granted, Sorensen added.

    © AAP 2018
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    The Crowd Says (37)

    • March 14th 2013 @ 4:30pm
      Bazza Allblack Supporter said | March 14th 2013 @ 4:30pm | ! Report

      Is he actually an alcoholic or just a normal young broke with tons of money??

      I remember what i was like at his age..

      • March 15th 2013 @ 5:32am
        mania said | March 15th 2013 @ 5:32am | ! Report

        Bazza Allblack Supporter – u’d be surprised the definaition of an alcoholic. apparently if u drink once a week every week then u can be classed as an alcky. i know when i was zacs age i couldve been definately classed as an alcoholic

    • March 14th 2013 @ 5:28pm
      Sportym said | March 14th 2013 @ 5:28pm | ! Report

      I think zac has a lot of issues, alcohol is an excuse for his actions . He might as well come out and say he has too much money, has a really bad attitude, lacks control and is weak……. Being an alcoholic seems easier 😉

      My only advice to Zac, mate you can be an alcoholic, that does not mean you can be a wanker through your actions , it’s not an excuse. Stuff he gut busted for while drinking ….. See a psychologist , not AA.

      • March 14th 2013 @ 8:33pm
        Sylvester said | March 14th 2013 @ 8:33pm | ! Report

        To his credit, he denied alcoholism after his earlier indiscretions. You might say continuing to drink and get in trouble at the risk of your career qualifies as a “problem”, be it alcoholism or some sort of compulsive behaviour.

      • March 14th 2013 @ 10:43pm
        giveup said | March 14th 2013 @ 10:43pm | ! Report

        spot on sportym!

      • March 15th 2013 @ 5:37am
        mania said | March 15th 2013 @ 5:37am | ! Report

        sportym – do u have no compassion? he lost his father a while back at the under 20’s world cup. his father was in the stands watching zac in the finals. whilst zac has been a dik head it hasnt been theft, rape or murder. zacs a young kid with lots of money but he’s still as vulnerable as anyone else whose lost a parent.
        the media coverage doesnt show how much charity work he does and how he goes out of his way to support terminal children. zacs a nice kid just a bit young and dum.
        beale, JOC and QC get away with shtloads worse.

        • March 15th 2013 @ 5:56am
          Jerry said | March 15th 2013 @ 5:56am | ! Report

          “beale, JOC and QC get away with shtloads worse.”

          Really? Shtloads worse than assault? Like what?

          Beale assaulted someone and will face criminal charges for it, unlike Zac. When have JOC or Cooper ever done that?

        • March 15th 2013 @ 8:39am
          Sportym said | March 15th 2013 @ 8:39am | ! Report

          Okay, my intital statement probably came across as harsh. I lost my dad when I was six , and for those 6 years it was war at home between mum/dad. I’ve had a relationship destroyed due to cancer, sure there was a time I found solitutude behind a bottle as a result, though never did I use it as an excuse. Maybe I am too hard but I believe he is weak, and enjoys it

          • March 15th 2013 @ 8:45am
            mania said | March 15th 2013 @ 8:45am | ! Report

            wow sportym – did no one help u or give u copmpassion when u needed it? maybe your so hard on zac because u had to be hard on yourself.
            weak is such a harsh word but it shouldnt be a bludgeon used to smack zac around the head with and make him feel worse. maybe weak in this case should mean that he’s someone that definately needs help?

            • March 15th 2013 @ 8:58am
              Sportym said | March 15th 2013 @ 8:58am | ! Report

              Hey mania . To be honest I learned strength and many traits from my mother who raised me as a single mum, also while migrating to a new country. Have utter respect for how paternal and strong a mother can be.

              Though your right my standards are probably a lot higher due to my upbringing .

              The thing is we are all different , as I did not turn to the bottle I consider others that do. Though that’s where I have placed the bar. Others have different views. I hope he kicks it, he has an amazing opportunity .

              I think he needs role models to teach him to be strong and not treat him like a victim. But hey when I go through a tragedy I want to be alone while others need company and support.

              • March 15th 2013 @ 9:49am
                mania said | March 15th 2013 @ 9:49am | ! Report

                sportym – strength thru compassion. love it and i learnt the same at the knee of my dear old mum. my story is similar to yours. i reckon i’m a lot older than you tho as i try to not measure others by the standards i hold myself too. my standards are mine and personal.
                i used too tho and got frustrated .
                i dont aree he needs role models tho. that always leads to disapointment. he needs help and a little bit of introspection about his life to date.

    • March 14th 2013 @ 6:23pm
      Campbell Watts said | March 14th 2013 @ 6:23pm | ! Report

      Ease up fellas!

      The guy obviously has some problems, most of his misdemeanors have revolved around booze so if he can gives up the booze perhaps that will help him keep a better disciplinary record. At least it’s a start!

      Having a few drinks and not being able to stop (thus getting into trouble like he has been) IS alcoholism!

      Give the bloke some credit for admitting he’s got a problem and seeking the help he needs.

      All the best to him and hope he’s back out there tearing it up on the rugby field again soon!

    • March 14th 2013 @ 6:40pm
      aussiekiwi said | March 14th 2013 @ 6:40pm | ! Report

      This reminds me of sbw being forced by the bulldogs to publicly confess to having alcohol problems even though He didn’t. Zac may of may not have real problems beyond the usual young male
      abuse of alcohol but this enforced public confessional routine is disturbing.

    • March 14th 2013 @ 6:56pm
      chuck said | March 14th 2013 @ 6:56pm | ! Report

      Being an Alcoholic seems easier, lacks control and is weak , my advice to Zac,mate you can be a alcoholic WOW!! see a psychologist
      not A,A. Zac your rugby career is over if you adhere too this advise,SPORTYM this what alcohol do too people like Zac it destroys
      their personality and their life becomes uncontrollable its a sickness too much money has nothing too do with this illness Zac stick with the program too over come this terrible illness you will stumble in the program but its a on going process and by the way its not a weakness Sportym its a sickness

      • March 14th 2013 @ 10:51pm
        giveup said | March 14th 2013 @ 10:51pm | ! Report

        Mother Theresa wannabe! he’s a weak character with no internal fortitude, good riddance, NZRU must be up the shit if he’s back

    • March 14th 2013 @ 7:17pm
      Dan H said | March 14th 2013 @ 7:17pm | ! Report

      As someone who works in the drug and alcohol sector the first three comments made on this forum smack of ignorance and stupidity. You guys really have no idea how to distinguish between addiction and what is normal young behaviour playing up like we all did. Unless you personally know the bloke then I dont think you can judge as to his motivations or the inner workings of his personal life. Btw he was in rehab he likley did see a psychiatrist and was likely also counselled in great depth. Judging by the length of his stay I would say he receieved cognitive behavioural therapy. AA is what people use after therapy to continue to discuss with like people their ongoing struggles and how the work through them in a supportive community. If you dont know what its about keep your ignorant comments to yourself and stop spreading the stupidity.

      • March 14th 2013 @ 7:43pm
        aussiekiwi said | March 14th 2013 @ 7:43pm | ! Report

        Is the use of aggression and insults a useful therapeutic tool in your line of work? It sure raises the level of discussion on an online forum.

        • March 14th 2013 @ 10:13pm
          Dan H said | March 14th 2013 @ 10:13pm | ! Report

          Mate im not at work and im not trying to build any kind of therapeutic relationships here. I generally find that insults are a good way to get someones attention especially online where people feel its less personal. Maybe theyll learn something. Maybe not… I sure as hell have a think about things when people get under my skin and make me feel like a fool. How bout you? The way you react to something is entirely up to you. I would suggest anyone who does not addiction is a serious mental illness should look up the dsm-v. There will be a number of criteria that needs to be met before someone can be labelled an alcoholic like zac has.

          • March 15th 2013 @ 2:41am
            Hightackle said | March 15th 2013 @ 2:41am | ! Report

            Addiction isnt always psychological. Are you sure you work in that area?
            Pysical dependence is a part of many addictions including alcohol.

        • March 14th 2013 @ 10:31pm
          Dan H said | March 14th 2013 @ 10:31pm | ! Report

          Heres a description from the 4th edition if you are interested.

      • March 14th 2013 @ 8:22pm
        allblackfan said | March 14th 2013 @ 8:22pm | ! Report

        well said, Dan H

      • March 15th 2013 @ 2:36am
        Hightackle said | March 15th 2013 @ 2:36am | ! Report

        Never understood “drug and alcohol” as a term.
        Its like saying “chocolate bars and mars bars”.
        A mars bar is a chocolate bar and alcohol is a drug. For me it is part of the problem, people dont think of alcohol as a drug and its one of the most destructive drugs there is.

        • March 15th 2013 @ 6:11am
          mania said | March 15th 2013 @ 6:11am | ! Report

          alcohol isnt a drug. its a poison hence why its handled by the liver. drugs get handled by the kidneys

          • March 15th 2013 @ 7:36am
            Dan H said | March 15th 2013 @ 7:36am | ! Report

            Mania you are correct about the distinction of where it is disseminated but alcohol will still be considered a drug as its a chemical introduced to the body which impacts upon body function, that is in the broader sense of the term. You are also right that it is scheduled under posions though and I think that is where the distinction lies and we term treatment facilities ATODS (alcohol tobacco and other drugs services) or the AOD sector (alcohol and other drug sector). Still alcohol generally presents with its own characteristic problems people argue about the definition and itll depend who you ask. HT pretty sure you just answered your own question. Addiction is what you go to rehab or counselling for as its the psychological aspect of illness. Physical dependence is what you go to detox for so over about a week your BP doesnt sky rocket and you dont stroke out or have a seizure. Arguably apart from the chemical changes that go in the brain regarding your pleasure center addiction has very little to do with the physical aspect. Yeah I am pretty sure of where I work and unlike some I wouldnt just disagree with someone for the sake of it. Or try to pick apart someones post especially when I agree with their sentiments.

            • March 15th 2013 @ 7:42am
              mania said | March 15th 2013 @ 7:42am | ! Report

              danH – your confusing me. all i was doing was replying to HT about the distinction. i have absolutely no idea how the treatment is defined.
              i’ll agree with u cos your the expert.

              ps – this makes me glad i quit drinking 1997 and smoking 2012. a whole year without a cigerette. choice

              • March 15th 2013 @ 7:50am
                Dan H said | March 15th 2013 @ 7:50am | ! Report

                Sorry mate I was just saying you were right about where alcohol is processed and that it is a poison. In a broader sense though it is still considered a drug. I was only saying anything because HT was questioning me whilst agreeing with what I was saying which I find facetious.

              • March 15th 2013 @ 7:57am
                mania said | March 15th 2013 @ 7:57am | ! Report

                i’m not bagging u danH, but when u speak to me it pays to use small words and type slowly cos i not read 2 fast.
                you’ll need to get used to the level of facetiousness on this site.

      • March 15th 2013 @ 8:48am
        Sportym said | March 15th 2013 @ 8:48am | ! Report

        Dan H. Without knowing his case history your jumping into a lot of conclusions about his state. You view him as a victim that needs help and care. I view him as someone that likes to drink and uses it as an excuse to run amuck . Maybe the truth is in the middle. Welcome to the Internet .

        For all the real victims of alcohol addiction there is a lot of wankers that use it as an excuse . I’ve have met plenty of people who go from nice to assholes without much alcohol.

        You have your opinion and I have mine, for you to judge me as ignorant and stupid …….. Kettle pot? Lets agree to disagree.

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