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All Blacks Guildford admits alcohol problem

Updated: November 15, 2011, 17:26


WELLINGTON, New Zealand(AP) All Blacks winger Zac Guildford plans to seek help for an alcohol problem as more details emerge of his drunken behavior during a holiday in the Cook Islands.

Guildford has admitted punching two men in a bar on the main island of Raratonga on Friday. He is also the subject of police complaint by a New Zealand female triathlete who lives in the Cook Islands and says she was harrassed and abused by him while jogging.

The 22-year-old Guildford returned Wednesday morning to New Zealand and told a news conference that the events are a blur.

"The last few months I have had a bit of a problem with drinking and I need to address that,'' Guildford said. "All I can do now is move forward and put some positive steps in place with a good support that group I have.

"My actions were not that of a professional sportsman, which I'm disappointed with. I just want to get home and sort myself out.''

Guildford said he couldn't expect to remain under contract to the New Zealand Rugby Union and the Canterbury Crusaders if he keeps "messing up.''

"I just hope the New Zealand Rugby Union have faith in me and I can put the right structures in place and prove to them that this time I'm ready to give it a good crack and put myself in a better position to be a better person,'' he said.

"If being an All Black flows from that then it does, but at the moment I'm concentrating on myself and the Crusaders.''

A NZRU spokesman said its board would review measures put in place to assist Guildford, who has been involved in four alcohol-related incidents in the past 18 months.

The winger appeared at a news conference during the recent Rugby World Cup to apologize for excessive drinking after a test against Australia in Brisbane in August.

The latest incidents occured when Guildford was in the Cook Islands to attend the wedding of a friend. He was detained overnight by police after arriving at Trader Jack's bar - a popular tourist spot - drunk, naked and bleeding from cuts to his forehead and legs.

He later admitted punching two men, including an Australian celebrating his 60th birthday. Guildford said he met with both men before leaving the Cook Islands to personally apologize.

Cook Islands police allowed Guildford to return to New Zealand, although they say they are still investigating a complaint from New Zealand triathlete Kelly Pick about his behavior.

Pick said Guildford followed her on a motor scooter while she was on a training run and had shouted sexual profanities. She lodged a complaint with police but acting Cook Islands police commissioner Akatauira Matapo said he considered the complaint "a waste of police time.''

"He made comments about me that were derogatory and sexually orientated,'' Pick said. "He was making comments about my physical stature. When I told him to leave me alone, he got aggressive. I was a little bit worried about his behavior.''

Guildford said he had offered to meet with Pick to apologize but she had declined. Pick said she agreed to a meeting but it did not take place.

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