Watch: Reformed Zac Guildford turning past demons into biggest motivator: 'I want to study addiction and mental health'

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1 NEWS

Former All Blacks and now Waikato back Zac Guildford is continuing his path to redemption from the alcohol issues which have plagued his career by planning to tackle his demons head-on in the classroom.

After years of struggles with alcohol, the rugby star wants to help others avoid making the same mistakes.
Source: 1 NEWS

Guildford, who has successfully returned to provincial rugby this season after a grassroots stint with Wairarapa Bush last year, told 1 NEWS he intends to study some of the issues that have haunted him to better understand it and help others.

"Next year, I’m looking at doing some studies around addiction and mental health," he told TVNZ 1's Te Karere.

"It will let me get a further grasp and more knowledge of what I want to understand about myself and also help other young guys."

Guildford reached exceptional heights early in his career after a successful campaign with the All Blacks at the 2011 Rugby World Cup but it quickly deteriorated shortly after due to an incident in Rarotonga.

The winger was accused of being heavily drunk and assaulting holidaymakers while he was in the small pacific nation attending a friend's wedding.

The former All Blacks winger is seeking redemption, hoping Fight for Life will be the first step in putting his troubled past, and reputation behind him.
Source: Seven Sharp

Since then, he's been in and out of clubs overseas as well as appearing in more headlines about his drinking issues before finally returning to New Zealand last year to live with his grandparents and play for Waiarapa Bush.

Guildford was then offered a deal to play for Waikato's Sevens team - an offer he took up - which led to him signing on to play for the Mooloos in the Mitre 10 Cup this season where he's featured prominently – only missing selection recently due to a hamstring injury.

Guildford told 1 NEWS he isn’t getting ahead of himself.

"I still love playing rugby so I’m still going to play it," he said.

"At what level? Probably Mitre 10 Cup – that’s probably as far as I’m going to go at the moment. From there, we’ll see what happens but I’m not looking too far ahead."

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