Lions tour: Paranoia personified - British and Irish Lions routinely sweeping hotel rooms for listening devices

  • 21/06/2017
Warren Gatland and Graham Rowntree at Lions training (Getty)
Warren Gatland and Graham Rowntree at Lions training (Getty)

The British and Irish Lions routinely sweep their facilities at the team's hotels in New Zealand for listening devices to prevent tactics getting out before the Test series against the All Blacks.

International rugby teams have become increasingly security conscious and routinely hired consultants to not only ensure the team is safe on their tours, but also to stop the opposition gaining an advantage.

The All Blacks became embroiled in a bugging scandal last year when a listening device was discovered in their hotel in Sydney before they played the Wallabies.

NSW Police conducted an investigation and charged a security consultant regularly used by the All Blacks with one count of false misrepresentation.

A security company that worked with the Lions on their 2009 tour of South Africa and 2013 tour in Australia carry out the checks in New Zealand.

"They are experts in electronic surveillance, to ensure that we are not being looked at or listened to," Lions chief executive John Feehan told Britain's Daily Telegraph newspaper.

"The team room, for example, is swept regularly and no one is allowed in there unless they are part of the squad, and if there is any suspicion at all they will do another sweep."

In 2013, the All Blacks had a security breach when a British newspaper reporter gained access to the team room in their hotel and revealed some of the planning and motivational messages written on a whiteboard.

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has also accused members of the foreign media of covertly filming their training sessions and at the last Rugby World Cup in England, the team trained behind a four-metre fence.

The Lions face the All Blacks at Eden Park in Auckland on Saturday in the first of three Tests.