A security consultant denies claims of "bugging" New Zealand rugby team
Last Updated: 21/03/17 11:03am
A security consultant employed by the All Blacks denies a charge of false representation over a "bugging" scandal involving the world champions, his lawyer said Tuesday.
Adrian Gard was charged in February after a bug was allegedly discovered during a routine check of a hotel meeting room before the Bledisloe Cup Test against Australia last August.
The 51-year-old, who has worked with the New Zealanders for several years, appeared in Sydney's Waverley Local Court. He denies one count of false representation resulting in a police investigation, his lawyer Simon Joyner said.
Domestic reports said police will allege Gard planted the bug himself and then "found" it.
The story broke on the morning of the Sydney Test, which New Zealand won 42-8, and raised tensions between the two arch-rivals.
After charges were laid, New Zealand coach Steve Hansen labelled them "bizarre and unbelievable", while Australian Rugby Union chief Bill Pulver said the scandal had left a "bitter taste".
Joyner said Gard, who has reportedly protected Bill Clinton and Oprah Winfrey in the past, had cooperated with police.
"He has participated with the police in their investigation and he respects the All Blacks and what they represent," he told reporters outside the court.
The matter will return to court on May 2 with Joyner wanting Hansen and All Blacks' management to attend.