Rugby: Cheika not bugging All Blacks for apology

Wallabies coach Michael Cheika said he is not expecting an apology from New Zealand, after a security consultant employed by the All Blacks was charged with bugging their hotel last year.
Wallabies coach Michael Cheika said he is not expecting an apology from New Zealand, after a security consultant employed by the All Blacks was charged with bugging their hotel last year. PHOTO: REUTERS

SYDNEY (AFP) - Wallabies coach Michael Cheika on Wednesday said he is not expecting an apology from New Zealand, after a security consultant employed by the All Blacks was charged with bugging their hotel before last year's Sydney Test against Australia.

He welcomed the news that police had laid charges of public mischief after a listening device was discovered in the All Blacks' hotel. New Zealand coach Steve Hansen has labelled the charge as "bizarre and unbelievable".

Asked whether he wanted an apology from New Zealand, Cheika told the Sydney Morning Herald: "I'm not expecting anything, I don't think that's necessary. They made a call.

"They made their play and the police have shown that to be a different outcome to what maybe that inference was but I don't expect anything like an apology.

"I'd forgotten about it really and then it came up. I was surprised they (police) were still onto it but there was an investigation to be had and they did their business and came up with that solution and that outcome.

"I knew one thing was definite... the inference was that we were involved, I know that was ridiculous. I knew that would be in the final outcome."

Adrian Gard, who has worked as a security consultant for the All Blacks for a number of years, will appear in a Sydney court on March 21.

Australian Rugby Union chief Bill Pulver said it had left a "bitter taste" that the story broke on the morning of the Test, which New Zealand won 42-8, although the bug was reportedly found five days earlier.

Cheika said it was reassuring that no one from Australian rugby had been linked to any kind of espionage. "It's not nice to have to answer questions from police and stuff like that, especially when you've got absolutely nothing to do with it," he said.

"I certainly didn't think that (a charge being laid) would happen. I'm surprised. I'll be interested to see what happens from here."

Cheika also hosed down suggestions that relations between Australian and New Zealand rugby were at their lowest ebb.

"I don't see that there's any great all-time low or anything like that... it is what it is," he said. "I'm not going to gain anything out of carrying it with me or having a chip on my shoulder about it.

"Everyone listened and some agreed, some gave me grief, and that was it. Carrying it on is not worth it. The thing I need to carry is more the result of that day, not worrying about who was doing what."