Michael Cheika is not expecting an apology from the New Zealand Rugby Union for inferences that the Wallabies were behind the bugging of the All Blacks’ hotel room in Sydney last year.
Cheika said he was “surprised” to hear an All Blacks security consultant was charged over the discovery of a listening device hidden in the foam of a chair in a meeting room at the Intercontinental Hotel.
Adrian Gard, a 51-year-old who has been employed by the NZRU on their trips to Australia for the last decade, will face court on March 21 after being charged with public nuisance following a six-month police investigation.
The scandal only came to light on the morning of the second Bledisloe Cup Test, which New Zealand won 42-8 – despite the device being discovered by the NZRU at the beginning of the week.
That, along with suggestions the Wallabies could have been responsible, has always irked the Australian Rugby Union, who have strenuously denied any involvement.
All Blacks coach Steve Hansen described the charge as “bizarre” and “hard to understand”.
— SMH Sport (@SMHsport) February 8, 2017
Gard’s motive remains unclear, but for Cheika the incident is water under a bridge.
“An apology to us? No, I’m not expecting anything like that, I don’t think that’s necessary,” Cheika said on Wednesday.
“(The NZRU) made their call, and now that’s all there is to it.
“I knew one thing was definite, obviously the inferences that we were involved – I know that was ridiculous.
“It’s not nice, to have to answer questions from police and stuff like that about something you’ve got absolutely nothing to do with.
“I’ll be interested to see what happens next, but it’s nothing that’s going to stick in my mind for too long.”
Cheika also rejected talk in the New Zealand press that All Blacks-Wallabies relations were now shot.
“It’s a shame that’s the situation, but at the end of the day, I don’t see it that there’s any great all-time low or anything like that.
“We’re opponents in many ways and right now the only people who have got to improve in that respect are us, on the field.
“It doesn’t matter about off the field – relations can be wherever they are.”