All Blacks' hotel room bugged ahead of Test

All Blacks flag (file)
All Blacks flag (file)

New Zealand Rugby (NZR) chief executive Steve Tew says the All Blacks won't hurl accusations at anyone for planting a listening device in the All Blacks' hotel room.

Mr Tew said he believed it wasn't important that the Australian Rugby Union were yet to deny any involvement.

The device, typically used by law enforcement and spy agencies, was found on Monday ahead of the Bledisloe Cup clash on Saturday night.

The team have been staying in the Sydney Intercontinental hotel since Sunday.

Mr Tew emphasised his desire to put an end to the issue so as to focus on the match.

The surveillance device was planted in a chair which had been deliberately cut to allow it to fit, and then sewn and glued back together so as to make the device undetectable.

"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," Mr Tew said.

While the device was found on Monday, Mr Tew said the information was not made public until Saturday in order to allow the hotel to complete their own investigation.

If the device was working, whoever was listening in would have heard the game plan for the match as it is usual for All Blacks coach Steve Hansen to give his expectations to the team on a Sunday, well in advance of a match.

Mr Tew did not believe this would be catastrophic for the game.

According to Australian federal law, it is "an offence to knowingly install, use or cause to be used, or maintain a listening device to record a private conversation, whether or not the person is a party to that private conversation."

All Blacks management have been informed of the legislation surrounding the device's use.

Mr Tew said it was common practice for most high performance teams to screen their rooms due to the valuable and competitive nature of the discussions which take place.

The room where the device was found had been marked as private and was inaccessible to anybody other than players or management, meaning the perpetrator must have known in advance where the All Blacks would be based.

While this is the first time definitive proof of spying has been found, there have been hunches of numerous attempts against the All Blacks in the past.