Police have charged a man who allegedly planted a listening device in the hotel where the New Zealand All Blacks rugby team were staying ahead of last year’s Sydney test against Australia.
News that the device was found in the room in Double Bay, in Sydney’s eastern suburbs, emerged on the day of the August 23 Bledisloe Cup match, which the All Blacks won by a record score of 51-20.
Police say a 51-year-old man, who was employed as a security consultant at the time, was charged today with public mischief to appear at Waverley Local Court on March 21.
Australian Rugby Union (ARU) CEO Bill Pulver welcomed news that someone had been charged, but a “bitter taste” remained over the fact that the discovery was revealed on game day “when it is understood that the alleged discovery of the device occurred much earlier in the week leading up to the test” and questions still remained.
Pulver said it was a distraction neither team needed that day.
“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,” he said.
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