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All Blacks Respond As One Of Their Own Charged With Bugging Team Hotel In Sydney

All Blacks Respond As One Of Their Own Charged With Bugging Team Hotel In Sydney
Gavin Cooney
By Gavin Cooney
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Well, this is fascinating.

It's been a bad couple of days for the All Blacks. Yesterday, the New Zealand Rugby Union revealed that lock Patrick Tuipulotu has been suspended following a positive drugs test. Tuipulotu played against Ireland in the recent autumn internationals before heading home prior to the test against France for what was then described as "personal reasons".

New Zealand Rugby and the New Zealand Rugby Players Association have now confirmed they were notified of a positive test in November and the 24-year-old Tuipulotu was “shocked” by the result.

Following that bombshell comes another.

It has been revealed in the last few minutes that a long-time ally has been charged with bugging their team hotel ahead of a Rugby Championship game with Australia in Sydney. A 51-year-old man who had been working with New Zealand for years was charged with with "public nuisance" by New South Wales police following their investigation into a listening device which was found in the All Blacks' team room at the InterContinental Hotel in which they were staying.


Steve Hansen has released a statement in which he says that he finds the incident hard to understand.

Frankly, the charge seems bizarre and unbelievable. It's very hard to understand. The charged man has worked for the All Blacks, and many other organisations, for a long time and is someone who is trusted and well-respected by us.

However, as with all cases before the courts, there has to be a due process that takes place and it is not right or proper for us to make any further comment as this could jeopardise the outcome of the case.

The bug was found by New Zealand team officials in the build-up to their first clash in last year's Rugby Championship, a game the All Blacks won easily, on a scoreline of 42-8.

The Australian Rugby Union's CEO Bill Pulver also commented on the incident, complaining about the timing of the story appearing in the media:


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.

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 that the alleged discovery of the device occurred much earlier in the week leading up to the test match.

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.

This All Blacks bugging story might run on a bit further.



See Also: Why Ireland Were '10 Or 15 Minutes Late' To Murrayfield On Saturday


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