Man charged over listening device found in All Blacks' Sydney hotel room last year

A man has been charged after a listening device was located in a room at a hotel the All Blacks were staying at in Sydney's east last year.

Police have been investigating allegations a listening device was located in a room at a hotel in Double Bay and said yesterday a 51-year-old man had been arrested for public mischief to appear at Waverley Local Court on March 21.

At the time of the alleged offence, the man was employed as a security consultant. The ABC said he was contracted by the All Blacks.

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The All Blacks stayed the hotel in August last year and the discovery of a listening device dominated headlines on the day of the match against the Wallabies.

The incident happened at the InterContinental Sydney Double Bay hotel - a five-star boutique hotel located in Sydney.

It distanced itself from the situation today.

A spokeswoman told the Herald: "We understand the New South Wales Police is concluding its investigation.

"We can confirm that the involved party was not employed or a contractor of InterContinental Sydney Double Bay."

Australian Rugby Union CEO Bill Pulver said he commended the NSW police for bringing closure to the matter.

But, he said there was still a "bitter taste" that the story that the bug was concealed in a chair in a team room was revealed in media on the day of the Bledisloe Cup test, which the All Blacks won by a record margin 42-8 on their way to retaining the trophy.

The story was broken by the New Zealand Herald.

"On behalf of the ARU, I commend the NSW Police for their ongoing pursuit of this matter and for providing closure with a charge being laid against an individual today," he said.

"The aspect that still leaves a bitter taste out of this whole affair is that the discovery of the device was reported publicly on game day, when it is understood the alleged discovery of the device occurred much earlier in the week leading up to the test match.

All Blacks coaches Steve Hansen and Grant Fox with one of the All Blacks security detail before the first Bledisloe match in Sydney after the spying scandal broke. Photo / Brett Phibbs
All Blacks coaches Steve Hansen and Grant Fox with one of the All Blacks security detail before the first Bledisloe match in Sydney after the spying scandal broke. Photo / Brett Phibbs

"Clearly the media attention which resulted from it was a distraction that neither team needed on the morning of a very important test match.

"The ARU and the Wallabies were never accused of any wrongdoing, however it was still important that this matter reached a conclusion to provide complete reassurance to all fans that the organisation and the team had no part in any of this.

"There may be some questions that remain but certainly today's news is welcome news that an individual has been called to account over this incident," he said.

New Zealand Rugby has yet to comment.

More to come

- NZ Herald

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