Zac Guildford appears set to join the Waratahs for a sensational return to Super Rugby.
Reports in Australia say new Waratahs coach Daryl Gibson has offered the 26-year-old a lifeline back to the international scene for the competition’s expansion to a 18-teams.
Guildford, the former All Blacks wing who has battled alcohol issues, has been performing solidly for Hawke’s Bay since returning from France after quitting his deal with Clermont earlier this year.
Gibson has been involved with Guildford in the past when he was an assistant coach with the Crusaders before shifting across the Tasman to join the Waratahs management.
Michael Cheika’s elevation to the Wallabies job sees Gibson placed in charge for the next season.
And, according to Sydney’s Daily Telegraph, one of his first moves has been to get in touch with 11-test All Black Guildford. The newspaper reports terms have been agreed, although a formal contract is yet to be signed.
The Waratahs have lost wings Peter Betham and Taqele Naiyaravoro to overseas contracts, giving Guildford, who can also play fullback, an opening.
He will take up the foreign marquee slot held by South African Jacques Potgieter for the past two years.
Guildford left the Crusaders and New Zealand rugby last year as patience ran out with him.
The Waratahs’ move rules out a link to the Hurricanes via his Hawke’s Bay connections.