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Guildford : Waratahs potential is “huge”

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Former All Black Zac Guildford says that he is thrilled to be part of the Waratahs Super Rugby squad as they have “huge potential”.

The former Crusaders winger won his first cap for the Waratahs on Saturday and in the process he almost scored his first try for the Sydney club.

The Waratahs beat the Reds 30-10 in Sydney and on the whole Guildford was happy with the way his new team went but said there is still a lot to work on.

“We played well in patches,” Guildford told the Sydney Morning Herald.

“I think we’ve got to be happy coming away with a bonus-point win. We’ve got plenty to build on. I think as we showed in patches we could be a very dangerous team. I was a bit nervous; it’s like starting again. I’m just thrilled to be back out there.”

Although the 30-10 score line suggests a one side match the Reds tested the Waratahs, particularly in the second half.

“They tested our D-line a few times, especially in that last 10 minutes,” Guildford said.

“We managed to hold onto that bonus point. Our defence was pleasing especially in that last 20 minutes.”

The Waratahs travel to Canberra to face the Brumbies in Round 2 and if selected Guildford will have his hands full as he will have to mark Henry Speight, a player the former All Black described as “very dangerous”.

“Geez, it’s going to be pretty tough,” Guildford said.

“You seen their D-line against a very threatening Hurricanes team and we’re going to have to come up with a few ways to manipulate them because they did look pretty strong, but I’m sure we’ll pick them during the week and find some holes. We’ll have to be on our best form because they’re going to test us and throw the kitchen sink at us.”

Guildford’s career has been held back by off-field issues and last year he left French club Clermont Auvergne half way through his contract. When he returned to New Zealand he was eventually stood down by his then provincial team Hawke’s Bay for allegedly assaulting two holidaymakers in a Rarotonga bar.

Guildford says he is on the straight and narrow and embracing the Waratahs style of play which was brought in by the now Wallabies coach Michael Cheika.

“I think definitely the potential is huge, look at some of the individuals we have,” Guildford said.

“He (Gibson) said the Waratahs like to play running rugby and they don’t kick much and I said: ‘Cool, that suits me because I can’t really kick anyway’.

“The Waratahs have been a great team for a few years now … I’m just thrilled to be part of it. The general public are a bit 50-50 me coming over here, but I was offered a great opportunity and I’ve really slipped in and [am] enjoying it.

“They’ve definitely formed a great culture over the years; a winning one, but also an enjoyable one, so it’s one I’m definitely buying into. It’s a bit different to back home, but I’m enjoying it.”

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