14 Mar 2013

I'm an alcoholic, says Guildford

7:45 pm on 14 March 2013

Rugby player Zac Guildford has admitted publicly that he is an alcoholic.

Guildford, who was part of the All Blacks' team that won the Rugby World Cup, has been reinstated to professional rugby and the Crusaders by the New Zealand Rugby Union.

His future has been the subject of a Rugby Union misconduct hearing related to an incident at a Christchurch party in January at which he punched someone.

Guildford says he's hugely grateful to be given another opportunity to show he's serious about getting his life in order.

He says it's been tough, but accepting he is an alcoholic is the first step.

Rugby Union spokesperson Neil Sorensen says Guildford's return to rugby comes with several conditions which will remain confidential.

He says the decision follows a very thorough misconduct process and consultation with medical experts and with Guildford himself about his situation, including his medical condition.

Mr Sorenson says despite the serious misconduct, the union has found there were sufficient mitigating circumstances to believe Guildford can continue to make a significant contribution to New Zealand rugby, provided he observes the conditions and works on his recovery.

Guildford heads to Christchurch to join the Crusaders on Friday.