With scorching speed and a knack for finding the try line, Zac Guildford may have just found an ideal rugby fit as he lines up for his first Global Rapid Rugby match on Friday night. The New Zealand international, who won 11 caps and notched six tries for the All Blacks, is eager to test the law variations introduced into Rapid Rugby that keeps the ball in play longer and promotes a free flowing style
The 30 year old joined his new team mates at Navigation Homes Stadium and looked razor sharp as the side put the finishes touches to their preparations ahead of Friday night’s clash against Fijian Latui. Guildford said he had sought out advice from a number of players who had been involved in Kagifa Samoa’s first two games and can’t wait to get into the action.
“They told me it’s definitely fast… and from watching tapes of the games that’s exactly what it looks like,” Guildford said.
“No kicking out on the full from inside the 22 is something I’m looking forward to seeing first hand. Being a fullback that will be a lot different to what I’d normally expect as teams try and get out of their defensive area, so I’ll need to adapt to that pretty quickly.
“The boys told me there aren’t many opportunities to rest and get your breath back, so the lungs will be burning,” he added with a chuckle.
Having played top level rugby in New Zealand, Australia and France, Guildford said Rapid Rugby was an exciting development for the game.
“The laws that Rapid Rugby are promoting favours attacking rugby and I think for the spectators it is an enjoyable experience,” Guildford said.
Friday night’s encounter will be Kagifa Samoa’s first home match after two games on enemy soil to start their Pacific Showcase Series, and the side is happy to be in the familiar surrounds of Navigation Homes Stadium with a vocal local crowd behind them.
“I’ve played on this ground a few times for various Mitre 10 cup teams and mostly had people cheering against me, so it’ll be nice to have them behind us this time around. It’s a good ground to play on, and the way it has been set-up looks fantastic, it’s going to be a great show,” Guildford said.
Friday, 7 June 2019 | Navigation Homes Stadium in Pukekohe
Gates open: 3.30pm | Kick-off: 5.40pm