SYDNEY (AP) Wallabies coach Michael Cheika says he is not expecting an apology from the New Zealand Rugby Union amid the on-going controversy over the bugging of the All Blacks’ hotel room in Sydney last year.
Cheika said he was surprised to hear an All Blacks security consultant had been charged on Tuesday over the discovery of a listening device hidden in the foam of a chair in a meeting room at a downtown hotel.
The scandal only came to light five days later when New Zealand team management notified New South Wales state police on the morning of the second Bledisloe Cup test match, which the world champion All Blacks won 42-8.
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Adrian Gard, a 51-year-old who had been employed by New Zealand Rugby on previous trips to Australia over a decade, will face court on March 21 after being charged with public nuisance following a six-month police investigation.
”An apology to us? No, I’m not expecting anything like that, I don’t think that’s necessary,” Cheika said Wednesday. New Zealand Rugby ”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.”
Any inference that the Wallabies could have been responsible upset the Australian Rugby Union, which had denied any involvement.
”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,” Cheika said. ”I’ll be interested to see what happens next, but it’s nothing that’s going to stick in my mind for too long.”
All Blacks coach Steve Hansen earlier described the police charges as ”bizarre and unbelievable” in a statement released by New Zealand Rugby.
Hansen said the man who was charged worked for the All Blacks 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 … and it is not right or proper for us to make any further comment as this could jeopardize the outcome of the case.”