One of the criticisms levelled at sportsmen these days is that they can sound like robots during interviews. They spin out the same old clichés, and toe the company line at all times. So – generally speaking – listening to a sportsman speak openly and honestly can be very refreshing.
But sometimes that person needs to take a deep breath and consider all their options before voicing their opinion.
Zac Guildford decided to come off the fence (whilst out of the country it must be said) to air his thoughts and criticise rugby hierarchy – and his employer.
That in itself is no crime, and the fact that someone within rugby circles feels secure enough to say what he really feels is a comforting sign. What Guildford said in relation to Pacific Island rugby and the current French tour even has (some) merit.
But Zac Guiildford needs to take a very hard look at who he is having a crack at.
He has been given more chances by the NZRU than most could even dream of. Despite the threat of a voided contract hanging over his head, he continued to behave like a moron and was afforded yet another opportunity.
Never has the NZRU acted so quickly – and at no small cost – as it did when Guildford made a total knob of himself in Rarotonga. Sure, they were in damage control. But whose fault was that? It sure as hell wasn’t the poor dude that Guildford decided to attack.
Guildford has from all reports been provided with a huge amount of support by the NZRU in trying to straighten his life out. He has obvious demons, and the NZRU should be applauded for at least trying to assist the best it can.
Yet, after all that, he criticises those that helped him out when he needed it most. What a charming way to repay that loyalty.
Zac Guildford’s chances of returning to the All Black squad in the near future are minimal, at best. Who knows? He may well have already played his last test. That means he’ll at some stage need to find a new employer.
Let’s hope for his sake that he has learnt not to have a crack at those who have stuck by him so solidly.