The Wellington Rugby Union confirmed today that actors were used in a video that had All Black Victor Vito go undercover as a referee to expose sideline abuse.

The World Cup winner disguised himself with a moustache, wig and sunglasses at a rugby match between Avalon and Petone under-13 boys.

The video, which Vito did for the Positive Sidelines Initiative, was a great success with many praising the idea across social media and television.

However, the parents in the video who were seen yelling abuse at the "undercover referee" were indeed actors and were used to increase the impact and get people talking about the issue.

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The video itself does not mention the use of any actors but does claim some parents were embarrassed by their behaviour once Vito and his fellow Wellington teammates revealed their true identities.

Vito had said that it was an eye-opening experience to hear what parents and kids had to say, and was surprised the abuse was happening at such a young age.