Waratahs snap up Guildford

Zac Guildford has signed a short-term contract with the Waratahs for the 2016 Super Rugby season.

The former All Black will start his 10-month stint with the Waratahs at the conclusion of the National Provincial Championship, where he represents Hawke's Bay.

Guildford earned 11 Test caps, before the New Zealand Rugby Union terminated his national contract following a series of alcohol-related incidents. The troubled 26-year-old then moved to French club Clermont, but midway through his four-year deal walked out of his contract citing personal reasons.

Waratahs coach Daryl Gibson says the signing is a solution to the loss of a number of senior players at the conclusion of the 2015 season.

'There were a few reasons we opted to sign Zac, not having three of our starting outside backs in Ashley-Cooper, Taqele Naiyaravoro and Peter Betham was a big drain on experience in the backs,' Gibson said.

He admits there are risks involved signing a player with Guildford's reputation, but says they'll build support systems around him so he can be successful.

'Of course his signature comes with risks for both parties, but we strongly believe in his ability and will support him with his efforts to continue his career.

'I’ve spoken with Zac extensively, and he is prepared to earn the respect of his teammates through his actions and to uphold the values of our club. He’s been carrying that “bad-boy” baggage around for a few years, but from my observations he has moved past it and grown up a bit.'

Photo: Martin Hunter/Getty Images

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Mariette Adams