World Rugby are taking seriously the discovery of a listening device in the All Blacks' hotel in Sydney.

A spokesman for the sport's governing body said he couldn't speculate on the particulars of the case, now being investigated by the NSW police after the bug was found hidden in a chair in a team meeting room at the InterContinental Hotel last week, but added: "We take all allegations of compromised sporting integrity seriously and have in place robust regulations and programmes, including those that operate at our own events."

World Rugby has its own anti-corruption website in order to provide information to player and officials, which states all suspicious activity or behaviour must be reported to World Rugby immediately, and in some cases the police.

One theory is that a betting syndicate is behind the planting of the device - any classified information can provide advantages for those betting on matches, and World Rugby is particularly strict on match fixing, and "spot fixing", whereby specific elements of the game are manipulated to provide a certain result.


"In most countries, as well as contacting World Rugby, you may also be obliged to report match-fixing or potential corruption in sport to your local police service," the website says.

New Zealand Rugby officials didn't report the discovery of the device to police until Saturday morning, the day of the All Blacks' 42-8 thrashing of the Wallabies at ANZ Stadium, five days after it was found in a routine security sweep by the team's security detail.

A spokeswoman from the New South Wales Police media team told the Herald this morning police were still investigating and had no update.

InterContinental Sydney Double Bay general manager Paul Walters said: "This matter is currently under investigation by the NSW police. InterContinental Sydney Double Bay is in full cooperation with the authorities and is assisting the investigation as required. As this is an ongoing investigation, we are not at liberty to provide any further details."

AUT associate professor of sports management Geoff Dickson says the planting of the device is more likely to be the work of a gambling syndicate than anybody involved with the Australian Rugby Union or the Wallabies.

Dickson told Rachel Smalley on Newstalk ZB this morning that betting syndicates have large amounts of money at their disposal for such covert operations. He said their motivation would be the information gained which would assist with setting odds for a match outcome.

Dickson added that he would be surprised if any ARU involvement was uncovered, saying the cost of getting caught would be catastrophic for anyone associated with the sports organisation.

On Saturday, ARU boss Bill Pulver categorically denied the Australian union had any involvement in the bugging of the All Blacks.

"It is completely ludicrous. 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.

"I'm utterly disappointed the story would break on match day and frankly, that's all I've got to say," Pulver said.

"I simply don't know the background but I'm clearly disappointed it gets out to the media on the day of a Bledisloe Cup match."

All Blacks selector Grant Fox was at pains yesterday to point out the All Blacks were not accusing anybody of planting the listening device.

"All we've said is we found a listening device in one of our rooms. We're not accusing anybody of putting it there. The media can speculate all they like but we don't have any proof on where it came from. All we know is the facts. We found one and it's now in the hands of the police. It's as simple as that."