Posted on 22 August 2016.
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Australia v New Zealand: All Blacks hotel room in Sydney 'bugged'

20 August 2016

New Zealand Rugby says a Sydney hotel room where the All Blacks held meetings was bugged before their first Bledisloe Cup match against Australia.

The New Zealand Herald reported that a "sophisticated" listening device found on Monday had been hidden in a chair.

The All Blacks beat Australia's Wallabies 42-8 on Saturday.

The CEO of New Zealand Rugby, Steve Tew, said in a statement that Australian police and the Australian Rugby Union (ARU) had been informed.

Saturday's game is the first of three in the annual Bledisloe Cup between Australia and New Zealand - which the All Blacks have not lost in 13 years.

Tew said: "We are taking this issue very seriously, and given it will be a police matter, it would not be prudent to go into further details."

The New South Wales Police Force said in a statement that they had become aware of the allegation on Saturday, and had attended a hotel in Double Bay, an area of Sydney.

Superintendent Brad Hodder told local media that a forensic team were looking at an "electronic device".

Tew added that he had spoken to ARU chief Bill Pulver who was "just as shocked as I was", but added that it was not a "catastrophic issue" for Saturday's match.

"We haven't made any accusations of anybody so there's no room for denials," said Tew.

Pulver told the New Zealand Herald that the idea of a bugging was "ludicrous" and said the ARU was not involved.

He said: "Mate, of course [the ARU is not involved].

"I just think it's a ludicrous concept that there are listening devices being placed in team rooms. I don't know how that could happen."

The paper reported that hiding the bug "was a highly skilled and meticulous act and whoever put it there would have needed a significant amount of time to have pulled off such an accomplished job".

Indications are that the device was working and would have transmitted conversations about the All Blacks' strategy for Saturday's match.

The game is the only one in this year's tournament scheduled to take place on Australian soil. The other two games are scheduled to be held in New Zealand cities. The All Blacks have won the Cup 43 times while the Wallabies have won 12 times.

The hotel where the All Blacks were staying has started its own investigation into the incident, the statement by New Zealand Rugby said.


Author: David Rich

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