NSW Premier Mike Baird has laughed off the alleged bugging of a hotel room used by the All Blacks ahead of Saturday night’s clash with Australia.
“I think that’s awesome – if that gives us a chance to beat the All Blacks I’m all for it,” Mr Baird told reporters in Sydney before bursting into laughter.
New Zealand Rugby Union chief Steve Tew says the bug was found during a routine security check on Monday and that police have been called in to investigate.
A spokesman for the InterContinental Sydney Double Bay hotel said management was investigating and hoped to have more information soon.
A police vehicle and two officers arrived at the InterContinental late on Saturday morning with a media contingent gathering in the lobby.
NSW Police said it did not have any immediate information.
The device, which was planted in a chair, may have may have recorded a team meeting, New Zealand Rugby Union says.
“A listening device was found in a meeting room this week during a routine security check,” NZ Rugby Union CEO Steve Tew said in a statement.
“There was an All Blacks team meeting there earlier in the week. If the device was working properly, and we don’t know that for sure, then they would have overhead that,” Tew told reporters outside the hotel on Saturday.
“But we don’t think it’s a catastrophic issue for the game tonight. We’re going to get on with it.”
Tew said, “The hotel immediately launched an investigation, we have informed the Australian Rugby Union, and jointly we have now decided to hand over the investigation to the Australian police.
“We are taking this issue very seriously, and given it will be a police matter, it would not be prudent to go into further details.”
The incident has annoyed Australian Rugby Union boss Bill Pulver.
He vehemently denied to the Herald that his organisation was involved and said he was unhappy the story had come out on match day.
“Mate, of course [the ARU is not involved],” Pulver said.
“It is completely ludicrous. I just think it’s a ludicrous concept that there are listening devices being placed in team rooms. I don’t know how that could happen,” Pulver said.