Rugby World Cup
Guildford: I have let myself down
ESPNscrum Staff
September 19, 2011
All Blacks wing Zac Guildford is tackled by Pat McCabe, Australia v New Zealand, Tri-Nations, Lang Park, Brisbane, Australia, August 27, 2011
Guildford is yet to feature for the All Blacks in the World Cup © Getty Images

All Blacks winger Zac Guildford has admitted he needs to address his off-field conduct after a recent spate of drink-related incidents.

Guildford - one of two All Blacks in their 30-man party yet to feature in a matchday squad in the World Cup- has held discussions with the New Zealand backroom staff following alcohol-related incidents in the past, yet after their Tri-Nations loss against Australia, the 21-year-old reportedly drank heavily once again.

And after the winger escaped a ban from the backroom staff, Guildford has spoken out concerning the incident admitting: "Personally, I feel I let myself down and the team down. "Obviously a poor performance on the field in a week that I felt the pressure at times led to me making a few bad decisions off the field following that game. I feel now that I have got a chance and I want to make the most of it."

All Blacks manager Darren Shand told reporters on Monday that Guildford will now work on a 'self improvement programme' to improve his conduct. "Zac obviously had had a disappointing match and felt a lot of pressure," Shand said. "He did drink excessively at the team hotel and basically breached the agreement with the coaches.

"It's pretty obvious what's moderate and what's excessive and that's why we have dealt with it the way we have. He's let himself down, he's let his team-mates down. Zac's now got a self improvement programme he has to work on."

Despite Guildford not featuring in either of the All Blacks' games so far in the competition, Shand was quick to dispel any notion of him being left out on account of his disciplinary issues. And Shand admitted that since Guildford took charge of the issue, he has been back to his best on the training paddock. Shand said: "He's really taken ownership of it, he's been awesome in the last couple of weeks and we really back this environment that we've got here to help people with those off-field issues, so ultimately good rugby players can perform on the paddock."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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