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Zac Guildford signs with Tasman Makos for 2016

The Tasman Rugby Union has addressed a potential wing crisis by signing former All Black Zac Guildford for this year's national provincial championship.

The former test winger is currently playing for Australia's Waratahs and will join Tasman at the end of the Super Rugby competition.

Injury concerns surrounding Tasman wingers Viliami Lolohea and James Lowe mean that Tasman have been on the look out for a quality threequarter and according to Tasman Makos head coach, Leon MacDonald, 27-year-old Guildford suits their needs perfectly. 

Lolohea dislocated an ankle playing for Japan's Sunwolves earlier this season while Chiefs winger Lowe continues to be troubled by some niggling shoulder complaints.

While Tasman haven't abandoned all hope of Lolohea getting some game time this year, MacDonald said it was "unlikely".

"Once Vili dislocated his ankle we were obviously on the look-out for an experienced winger to take his place," MacDonald said.

"We really needed someone who'd been there and done that and Zac's availability just about coincided with these injuries perfectly, so the timing was great and we're pretty lucky really."

Guildford's pace and attacking ability have been well documented ever since he played the first of his 74 games for Hawke's Bay back in 2007. He represented New Zealand at  both the 2007 and 2008 Junior World Cups and was first selected for the All Blacks in 2009, debuting against Wales in Cardiff later that year.

He played 11 tests for the All Blacks until 2012 and also played twice for the Maori All Blacks. He played 18 games for the Hurricanes and another 61 for the Crusaders between 2008 and 2014 when he signed for French Top 14 side Clermont Auvergne.

He also won gold with the New Zealand sevens team at the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games.

MacDonald said that Guildford should ideally suit Tasman's style of play.

"He's an All Black and he's a finisher so he's got out and out pace. He's a smart player, he understands the game well and he appears at the right place at the right time.

"On the field, he's a proven performer, he's played big games before and the best thing I like about him is that he's got a real appetite still to be really good.

"He's really hungry to do well and the most exciting thing is he sees Tasman as a team that plays a style that he wants to be involved in and can help him get back to where he wants to be."

However Guildford's career has also been shrouded by controversy following various alcohol-related incidents, something MacDonald believed was now behind him.

"We've done a lot of work behind the scenes to find out exactly where Zac's at," MacDonald said.

"[Waratahs coach] Daryl Gibson's been brilliant with his experiences with Zac at the Waratahs and he's been very open and honest around where the challenges have been.

"Zac's in a really good space at the moment, he's really driven to do well and while he's got issues that everyone's aware of, he's got a programme in place to take care of himself and he drives it. We're putting exactly the same support around him in Tasman as he's got at the Waratahs, so he'll continue the same progress he's making there with us.

"We've got a really good team culture and I've spoken to the skipper [Shane Christie] about it and he straight away said that the boys are around him and will make sure that we give him all the support he needs. We've got some good men so we'll take care of him."