All Blacks coach Steve Hansen described as "bizarre" the arrest of a security consultant employed by his team in the infamous "Spygate" case.
New South Wales police said that a 51-year-old had been arrested on a "public mischief" charge following the discovery of a listening device in the team's InterContinental Hotel in Sydney's Double Bay before the All Blacks' record-breaking 42-8 Bledisloe Cup thrashing of the Wallabies last August.
In a statement released by New Zealand Rugby, Hansen said: "Frankly, the charge seems bizarre and unbelievable. The charged man has worked for the All Blacks, and many other organisations, for a long time and is someone who is ... well-respected by us.
"However, as with all cases before the courts [it is not right] for us to make any further comment as this could jeopardise the outcome of the case."
As Hansen hinted, the arrest of a man named by Sydney's Daily Telegraph and other Australian news organisations as Adrian Gard prompted more questions than answers and is another development in one of the more extraordinary of rugby stories in recent history.
Gard works for BGI Security. His brother Ashley, the company's director, declined to comment when approached last night by the Herald.
The motive behind the planting of the bug in an All Blacks' team room remains unknown, but Australian Rugby Union chief executive Bill Pulver was quick to draw a line under the affair.
Pulver commended the police for their investigation but said in a statement released quickly after the police announcement: "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.
"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."
Questions were asked at the time about why the All Blacks took four days to report the discovery to police, with New Zealand chief Steve Tew, who had been travelling from the Rio Olympics, admitting his organisation got that wrong.
Hansen's All Blacks swept the Wallabies three-nil in the Bledisloe Cup series. After the final test, at Eden Park in October, Wallabies coach Michael Cheika launched a broadside at the All Blacks and The New Zealand Herald, who broke the story, with Cheika alleging the newspaper was working with Hansen's team.
Cheika said then: "[The All Blacks] caught me a bit offside with the accusation that we tried to bug them.
"They had that the whole week. That showed a lack of respect. I wouldn't be smart enough to get that sort of stuff organised."