Rugby: Westpac Stadium to be blacked out during ABs' training

Rieko Ioane in action during the All Blacks training session at the Hutt Recreation Ground. Photo / Mark Mitchell
Rieko Ioane in action during the All Blacks training session at the Hutt Recreation Ground. Photo / Mark Mitchell

The All Blacks' training session tomorrow will take place under a veil of secrecy - but that has nothing to do with 'spygate'.

A week after discovering a bug in their Sydney hotel room, both the All Blacks' and the Wallabies' captains' runs will be off limits to guests at Westpac Stadium ahead of Saturday night's Bledisloe Cup test at the same venue.

The internal windows of the stadium will be covered by curtains during the training sessions, preventing guests using the facilities for lunch from seeing the teams' practice moves.

But rather than being a reaction to last week's events across the Tasman, the precaution is part of a new rule instituted by New Zealand Rugby last year.

NZR in November introduced a policy stating test venues hosting training sessions would be closed to the public, leaving Westpac Stadium in a bind ahead of the captains' runs.

The ground had already been booked by Wellington's Centurion Rugby Club for their annual fundraising lunch, and 750 guests had been expecting to watch the All Blacks train from their level-four vantage point.

But Wesptac Stadium chief executive Shane Harmon confirmed that additional security measured had been taken after the edict from NZR.

"It's a stipulation of hosting test matches that training sessions are closed," Harmon told Fairfax. "The team and management wish to keep drills and training to themselves."

Harmon said groups hiring out the stadium had been informed of the new rules, which were a policy shared by every other ground in the country.

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