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Friday, January 10, 2014
Zac Guildford says leaving New
Zealand to play for French club
Clermont Auvergne was not an easy
decision but felt like the right move
e All Blacks and Crusaders
winger has signed a two year contract
with Clermont with the option of a
third year. He will leave at the end of
the upcoming Super Rugby Season.
"I am hugely grateful for all of
the opportunities I have been given
here in New Zealand. I have had
the honour of playing at the highest
level, and I have been fortunate
enough to be given second chances,"
"Playing for Clermont Auvergne
presents new and exciting challenges
and I believe that the time is right
for me to take this opportunity.
Until then, I am going to make the
most of the upcoming season with
the Crusaders and enjoy playing
with the amazing team-mates I have
e 24-year-old, who has played
10 tests for New Zealand since
his debut against Wales in 2009, is
contracted to the NZRU until the
end of 2014 but has an out-clause
with Hawke s Bay and has chosen to
exercise that. It is hard to argue with
Guildford s move.
He has had a troubled time over
the past few years, with a number
of alcohol-related incidents, and he
might be looking for a fresh start
as well as a chance to cash in at his
stage in his professional career.
He is also behind a number of
good, young wings on the New
Zealand scene like Julian Savea, Ben
Smith, Cory Jane and Frank Halai,
and had long been linked with a
"It s never okay to be losing
talented rugby players but Zac has
to do what is best for him, Hawke s
Bay Rugby Union chief executive
Mike Bishop said. "He goes with
our blessing. He s been a favourite
son of ours for the past six or seven
years. We would have loved to have
seen him stay and play out the rest
of his career with us but he s always
welcome back here."
Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder
said Guildford would play out the
2014 Crusaders season and leave for
France following that.
"Zac has been a core member of
the Crusaders since he came on
board in 2010. He is a gifted player
and has a real passion for the game.
He will certainly be missed by his
Crusaders team-mates but we still
have the upcoming season ahead of
us and I am sure Zac will continue to
be a valuable member of the squad
until his departure," Blackadder said.
Guildford made his Hawke s Bay
debut in 2007 as an 18-year-old and
he was also a member of the gold
medal-winning New Zealand sevens
team at the 2010 Commonwealth
Games. His decision to leave New
Zealand ultimately rules him out
of a shot at an Olympic gold medal
with the All Blacks sevens team in
Rio. --- APNZ
Daniel Vettori will coach the
Royal Challengers Bangalore in
this year s Indian Premier League.
In doing so he will forego a place in
the IPL player auction on February
12 where several New Zealand
players are seeking contracts
through the eight franchises.
Vettori joins former New
Zealand captains Stephen Fleming
(Chennai Super Kings) and John
Wright (Mumbai Indians) as IPL
e all-rounder replaces South
African Ray Jennings after RCB
missed the IPL semi-finals and
subsequent qualification for the
Champions League over the past
It is Vettori s first foray into
coaching outside what was termed
an assistant coach stint with the
Brisbane Heat last season in the
Big Bash League when he was
injured. Vettori is looking to play
internationally until at least the
2015 World Cup but the decision
signals his first steps --- outside
shareholdings in several businesses
--- beyond playing cricket since he
made his test debut almost 17 years
e former New Zealand skipper
turns 35 this month and continues
to battle for fitness. His Achilles
tendon problem is understood to
have improved following surgery
in June but he recently tweaked his
back during a lifting exercise.
e RCB franchise is owned by
Indian industrialist Vijay Mallya
who also has the Force India
formula one team as part of his
portfolio. He moonlights as an
MP and chairman of the United
Breweries group who produce
is year signals a fresh IPL
auction --- the previous one in 2011
saw a number of players contracted
Each franchise gets first option to
retain five players from the previous
season. RCB have signalled they
want first dibs on Chris Gayle
and AB de Villiers before they
look further afield. It is uncertain
whether fellow internationals
Tillakaratne Dilshan and Muttiah
Muralitharan will be retained.
Allan Donald has been recruited
as bowling coach and Trent
Woodhill as fielding coach. at
reunites the combination that went
with New Zealand head coach
Wright to the 2011 World Cup
when Vettori was captain and the
team made the semi-finals.
--- New Zealand Herald
David Ferrer may have two more
matches in the Heineken Open but
he likely faced his toughest test in last
night s quarter-finals.
Few expected Guillermo Garcia-
Lopez to cause the world No 3 too
many problems --- and for most of
the first two sets that prognostication
Having already played the better tennis
of the two Spaniards, Garcia-Lopez
found another gear late in the second,
seeing off Ferrer s attempts to serve out
the match and sending it to a third set.
Ferrer eventually survived the scare to
triumph 6-3, 5-7, 6-4, but the scoreline
told only half the story in a match which
left seasoned observers at Stanley Street
struggling to recall an encounter of a
Garcia-Lopez may have lost five
of their previous six encounters but
the world No 58 matched his more
illustrious compatriot for every blow,
stroking some of the best backhands
seen in recent years in Auckland.
He forced the unflappable world
No 3 into uncharacteristic behaviour ---
repeatedly hitting unforced errors into
the net, arguing calls and remonstrating
with himself after missed shots.
at Ferrer still came out on top
provided a vivid illustration of the class
he brings to the event. e four-time
champion will head into tomorrow s
semi-finals having played three-set
matches on back-to-back days, but he
should still have too much quality for
world No 62 Yen-Hsun Lu, who ended
the fairytale run of lucky loser Steve
Johnson with a 6-4, 6-4 victory.
e main course served up by Ferrer
and Garcia-Lopez came with a fitting
entree, with John Isner and Philipp
Kohlschreiber playing what was --- for a
couple of hours, at least --- the match of
If the rules of tennis made room for
draws, the marathon match would have
met every criterion. In almost two-and-
a-half hours, neither man managed to
break the other s serve, with all three sets
requiring tie-breaks to find a victor.
Isner came back from a set down to
win both the second and third breakers,
setting up a semi-final today against
Roberto Bautista Agut. It could have
been an all-American clash in the final
four, but Bautista Agut dispatched Jack
Sock earlier in
third seed, will
be confident of
clinching a final
the American s
receive a severe
for the 2.08m
Isner, his type of game is hardly built
on covering every inch of the court.
e world No 14 showed his reliance
on his not-so-secret weapon against
Kohlschreiber, firing down 18 aces and
winning a remarkable 83% of points off
his first serve.
"I served exceptionally well and that s
the only reason I won," Isner said. "Some
days you re just in a good rhythm, and I
was certainly in a good rhythm today."
e rhythm was clearly evident in
Kohlschreiber bringing up only three
break points across 18 games. Isner had
just seven of his own, but managed the
crucial mini-break to take out the final
With each set lasting the distance,
Isner was always going to hold the
advantage, given he possesses the best
tie-break record on the ATP.
And for Kohlschreiber, who reached
the quarter-finals for the ninth time
in 10 trips to Auckland, there was
little to rue after a match devoid of
opportunities. He had won his previous
two matches against Isner but failed
to manufacture many openings in his
"It was one of those matches where I
really didn t do anything wrong," he said.
"It was very interesting and high-quality,
but it was tough to be a loser." --- APNZ
Top New Zealand golf caddie Steve
Williams has confirmed he will walk
away from the game by 2016 --- and
has shed some light on the pressures of
caddying for Tiger Woods.
Williams, who caddied for Woods
during his prime and currently carries
world No 2 Adam Scott s bag, told
the PGA Tour s official website he felt
that having helped Scott become the
first Australian to win the masters, the
ideal time had come to call it a day.
"I went to caddie for Adam with
the intention that I
wanted to get him over
the line in a major
championship, and it
happened. I thought
that was the perfect
way to end my career,"
"Something tells you
that is the moment
and it s time to do
something else. Deep, deep, deep
inside me that s what I wanted to do,
was never (to) be seen again caddying.
I d made up my mind.
"So (2014) is my last
year caddying full-
time. If Adam agrees,
and we ve talked about
it, I ll caddie for him
from Doral to the Tour
Championship in 2015
and then that s it."
Often cited as one of
New Zealand s highest-
earning sports figures,
Williams was on Woods bag from
1999 to 2011 and for 13 of his 14
major championship wins.
His relationship with Woods has
been stormy since the pair parted,
with Williams criticising Woods over
his extramarital affairs. In his most
recent interview, Williams described
the pressure of caddying for one of the
planet s most famous athletes.
"You get this weird sensation when
you caddie for him that you want to
crawl under a tree because people are
always looking at you," he said.
"It s a claustrophobic feeling. I felt
like that regularly with him, even
going out for a practice round at half-
past six in the morning."
--- New Zealand Herald
Top NZ caddie ready to call it quits
Vettori to coach IPL side
Leaving NZ right move
Ferrer sur vives
PICTURE: Getty Images
David Ferrer plays a forehand in his match against
Guillermo Garcia-Lopez in last night s Heineken Open at
the ASB Tennis Centre in Auckland.
Steve Williams with Tiger
Woods in 2006.
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