Zac Guildford was once one of the brightest prospects in New Zealand rugby. The former Crusaders and All Black wing made his All Blacks debut in 2009 at just 20 years of age. He was also a part of the All Blacks 2011 World Cup winning campaign.
However, Guildford’s rugby exploits are now overshadowed by his deplorable off field behaviour.
Yesterday Guildford was sentenced in a Wairarapa court to 9 months house arrest and ordered to pay reparation after stealing $41,500 off of his Grandfather. He defrauded another $60,000 off a friend, using the false reasoning that he required the funds for lawyers fees and a defamation case he was pursuing against a New Zealand media outlet.
The money was instead used to fund Guildford’s online gambling addiction.
In the years since Guildford’s test debut he has had an ever increasing rap sheet of wrongdoing. From a naked incident in a Rarotongan bar where he punched a patron. To just last year being convicted for assault on a female, after punching a woman in the face.
Things have gone from bad to worse for the troubled winger since his retirement. Guildford’s story highlights the power of addiction and the effects of mental illness. One would hope he can turn things around, for himself and his family’s sake.