SpyGate: Wallabies not 'paranoid'

Wed, 24 Aug 2016 16:08
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REACTION: Australian Rugby Union Chief Executive Bill Pulver says his organisation won't go as far as the All Blacks by sweeping their rooms for listening devices.

A listening device was located in the All Blacks' meeting room at their Sydney hotel five days before last Saturday's Rugby Championship opener against the Wallabies.

However, Pulver said he'd never previously heard of sports teams sweeping rooms for bugs.

Pulver has described the listening device found as an unnecessary distraction and says he has never heard of a rugby team ever adopting such a concept

"I'm not going to describe the All Blacks as paranoid, it's up to them to run their team the way they want to," Pulver told the Australian Associated Press.

"But I can tell you we don't sweep rooms.

"I knew we had nothing to do with it. I was disappointed that it came out on game day because I thought it was an unnecessary distraction."

Police weren't notified until five days after the device was detected as All Blacks management waited for New Zealand Rugby boss Steve Tew to return from the Rio Olympics.

"There was a bit of delayed reaction to hand it over to the police, and I think in retrospect they probably would have handed it over to the police a lot earlier than they did," Pulver said.

"But I think like me they were probably shocked by that outcome.

"I was shocked because I've never heard of the concept of listening devices in the world of rugby, those behaviours are not typical in our game.

Pulver has revealed he was shown a picture of the device on Friday by New Zealand Rugby Union boss Steve Tew at an annual board dinner.

He was shocked when he saw the photo but was under the impression the story would not get out to the public, which turned out not to be the case after it was reported in the media on Saturday, the day of the Bledisloe Cup opener between the Wallabies and All Blacks in Sydney.

Pulver said he was first informed about the device on Friday by Tew at the traditional Bledisloe eve dinner for the Australian and New Zealand rugby boards.

"About 10 o'clock that night Steve showed me a photograph of this funny little device that looked like two batteries with a little wire, pretty innocuous," Pulver added.

"He said at this point they were confident that it wasn't going to be an issue for public exposure.

"The next morning he rang me, and in fairness to Steve, most apologetic, that it had been released to the public.

"He was a bit embarrassed about that and we both agreed on the Friday night that it should be handed over to the police."

Source: AAP & watoday.com.au

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