Guildford set to pull out of Waratahs deal

Former All Blacks winger Zac Guildford has had a change of heart about playing Super Rugby for the Waratahs and is set to pull out of a one-year contract.

Guildford, 26, is poised to exercise an out-clause in the deal he signed last week, having initially embraced the approach from new Waratahs head coach Daryl Gibson.

“I’ve had a rethink and I’ve decided it might be better to stay closer to home and family and friends,” Guildford told the Hawke’s Bay Today newspaper.

The 10-Test All Black cut short a contract with French giants Clermont this year to return home, citing homesickness in the continuation a chequered professional career.

Off-field incidents and ongoing problems with alcohol earned reprimands from All Blacks and Crusaders management before his departure for France.

Two weeks ago Guildford said he was thrilled by the prospect of linking again with Gibson, who he played under previously at the Crusaders, and playing alongside Wallabies backs such as Israel Folau and Kurtley Beale.

The former Hurricanes and Crusaders winger has indicated there is interest in his services from New Zealand Super Rugby teams.

He begins his eighth NPC campaign with Hawke’s Bay in Napier on Sunday when they defend the Ranfurly Shield against Northland.

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