All Blacks bug: Security consultant cleared of public mischief charge

All Blacks haka
The All Blacks face Australia in their Rugby Championship opener on Saturday

An All Blacks security consultant has been cleared of public mischief in relation to a bug placed in a New Zealand meeting room before last year's Bledisloe Cup tie against Australia.

Adrian Gard was charged in February of making a false statement to police after the listening device was found during a check of the hotel room.

A court in Sydney dismissed the charge on Friday.

Gard was found guilty of another charge of operating without a proper licence.

He will be sentenced for that charge in September.

All Blacks captain Kieran Read told the court that Gard, who had worked for the team for a long time, was a "pretty good man" and had been "pretty honest and loyal in what he does".

Read's side begin their Rugby Championship defence against Australia on Saturday - the first of three games in the annual Bledisloe Cup.

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