19 Sep 2011

All Black taking steps to address drinking

10:10 pm on 19 September 2011

All Black Zac Guildford has appeared in front of media to explain his excessive drinking and bad behaviour and says he is making changes.

The 22-year-old wing is in the Rugby World Cup squad but has yet to play in a match.

Team manager Darren Shand says the incidents took place during the Tri-Nations competition in August and coaches cautioned Guildford early on in the tour.

However, after the All Blacks lost to the Wallabies in Brisbane - in which Guildford admits he performed poorly - the player drank to excess at the team's hotel.

Guildford admits he has a drinking problem and feels he has let himself down. He says he does not want to throw away his chance with the All Blacks and is making changes.

Shand says staff are supporting Guildford through a self-improvement programme and his behaviour has not affected his selection in the team.

Speculation Guildford was not picked for the first two games against Tonga and Japan as punishment are not true, he says.

Guildford was a shock selection ahead of Hosea Gear and Sitiveni Sivivatu, and appears to have been surpassed by versatile midfielder Richard Kahui, who has scored four tries in the tournament so far.

The All Blacks' next game is against France in Auckland on Saturday.