All Black winger Zac Guildford will miss the 2013 Super Rugby season after he withdrew from the Crusaders squad in order to undertake an intensive treatment programme to address his on-going personal issues.
The Crusaders winger has withdrawn indefinitely from the Crusaders squad in order to seek treatment for his problems.
Twenty-three-year-old Guildford has a history of alcohol-related problems, is facing misconduct proceedings after an off-field incident earlier this month when he reportedly became involved in a brawl with a man at a party.
Guildford admitted to having alcohol issues when publicly reprimanded by the All Blacks' management during the 2011 World Cup and two months later announced a 12-month drinking ban after he ran naked into a bar and allegedly punched two men.
NZRU Chief Executive Steve Tew said: "It has been a challenging week for everyone involved, and we are working closely with the Players' Association and his Manager to ensure that he gets the professional help he needs and is held accountable for his actions.
"As people may appreciate, this is an employment matter and we must ensure that the process both respects his right to a fair hearing and our legal obligations as an employer.
"We also have a responsibility to the wider game and all those who support it. We are working hard to deliver on our obligations to the game.
"Zac's withdrawal from the Crusaders means they are able to concentrate on preparing for their 2013 season, and Zac will be free from rugby to concentrate on resolving his personal issues.
"We will remain in touch with Zac to monitor his progress and will address the issue of misconduct at the appropriate time."
New Zealand Rugby Players Association CEO Rob Nichol said: "Zac has a renewed acceptance of the challenges he faces.
"We have taken the advice of experts and Zac is committed to the plan they have developed. It is fundamental that he commits fully to the plan, and sees it through.
"This means withdrawing from the rugby environment.
"We are all supporting Zac during what will be a challenging time. Zac himself wants to make the most of the opportunity provided and is very appreciative of the support he is receiving."