Home is the best place for Guildford: Gibson

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Waratahs coach Daryl Gibson says the best place is home for Zac Guildford, with the winger heading across the ditch, cutting short his time at NSW.

Guildford had signed a one-year deal with the NSW club but ongoing issues on and off the field led to his decision to return to New Zealand.

His departure will be immediately filled by the return of Fijian monster Taqele Naiyaravoro, fresh from a stint in Scotland via the Wallabies.

Gibson said it was disappointing to see Guildford go for "wellbeing reasons" but it was the best decision for player and club.

"Zac's gone home for well-being reasons," he said.

"We sat down last week and decided that was the best thing for him to do. Given Taqele's back with us, it's an opportune time for him to go home and be supported by his family."

 Guildford has had well documented struggles with alcohol and Gibson said his personal issues were an ongoing obstacle for the 27-year-old.


"As a club, we've done everything we can to really support him," he said

"I'm very proud of the fact that what we've done to help him.

"Zac's had his challenges and he'll continue to have his challenges on a daily basis at  the moment, given his well-being, the best place for him is at home."

Guildford struggled with injury and form in his time at the Waratahs, in which the former All Blacks outside back played seven matches, scoring a try against former team the Crusaders in round 13.

He had been playing with the West Harbour Pirates in the NSW Shute Shield competition during the June Test window.

Zac Guildford had some highlights at NSW. Photo: Getty ImagesNaiyaravoro is likely to line up in the Waratahs' final three games but won't be eligible to play finals should the Waratahs make it, needing four matches to be eligible for playoffs.

The Waratahs travel to Tokyo this weekend to take on the Sunwolves as they look to push for final contention.

Gibson said on Monday that Wycliff Palu would be the only Waratahs Test player likely to miss the Japan trip, with the 10 other NSW players indicating a desire to get straight back into Super Rugby.

"He's (Palu) come out of the game with a little bit of palsy in his right shoulder. We'll be monitoring him but he looks doubtful for the weekend," he said.

"All the (other) guys have indicated they're keen to play.

"I think coming off a disappointment over the last three weeks, they're really keen to get stuck back into Super Rugby.

"It's an exciting time for us and we're also going to Tokyo. It's a place that we may not get there in the next two or three years so it's summer up there, going to be hard and fast, sun shining and we definitely want to make the most of that opportunity."

NSW currently sit on the same points as Australian conference leaders ,the Brumbies, and four points out of a wildcard spot.