Waratahs band around injured Zac Guildford

Super Rugby
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

The Waratahs are banding around winger Zac Guildford, as he struggles to deal with an injury setback.

Guildford has had a mixed start to the season and broke his pinky toe against the Rebels, an injury that has only gotten worse in the week since, ruling him out of Saturday's clash with the Brumbies.

The 27-year-old has been given the week off training by coach Daryl Gibson, to give him time to get his head space right.

Injury notwithstanding, Gibson said Guildford was likely to be overlooked for the derby, a development that hit the former All blacks back hard.

“We ran him again on Tuesday, made it worse and so it’s obvious he’s going to be out for a while,” he said.

“He’s got a fractured little toe and it hasn’t healed, so he’s pretty down about that.

“He’s in a space at the moment where he’s let that injury and his exclusion get on top of him so I’ve given him some time off and back at training on Monday.

Guildford came to the Waratahs with some much-publicised baggage, still overcoming an alcohol problem, and Gibson said the club was giving him all the support it could.

“The care around him is pretty extensive,” Gibson said.

“We’ve done a number of things and he’s actively working on that and again these are the setbacks and so forth you have to cope with as a rugby player.”

The Waratahs are getting behind Zac Guildford. Photo: ARU Media/Stu WalmsleyOnce Guildford does return to full fitness, something that could take weeks, Gibson said there was no guarantee he would walk straight back into the side.

“He was very disappointed with his game like a number of guys out of the Rebels performance so he would’ve missed selection this week, I was very clear to him on that,” he said.

“I was disappointed with a number of players out of that game and so he’s going to have to earn his way back just like everyone else.”

Guildford was one of two New Zealand recruits that Gibson lured to the Waratahs this year, with the other being prop Angus Ta’avao.

Ta’avao has been part of a struggling Waratahs scrum and youngster Tom Robertson pipped him for a starting spot this weekend.

Gibson said he wasn’t worried by the form of the duo so far,

“I think that’s par for course,” he said.

“They need to adjust to the different style of play over here.

“I still have every confidence they can adjust.”