'All Blacks Have Point To Prove In Rugby Championship'

New Zealand coach Steve Hansen wants to get back to winning ways against Australia

The All Blacks have warned they're ready to counter if the Wallabies attempt to replicate the British and Irish Lions' suffocating rush defence in Saturday's Bledisloe Cup series opener.

Today, the Kiwis finally ended the long-running espionage saga that was kick-started this time a year ago as security consultant Adrian Gard was cleared of planting a bug to to record Hansen's team meetings.

While that public relations disaster of a saga rumbled on, though, Michael Cheika has had his players in a training camp for a month, plotting to take down the world champions in the first of three Bledisloe Cup tests this year.

The Wallabies have home advantage with the game taking place in Sydney's ANZ Stadium but many believe that won't be enough for Australia to pull off an unlikely victory.

"They had that the whole week".

SMITH: "OK are you will to do a sawn afterdavided (sic) to say we didn't have sex in there.??" I said I got all flustered and left OK.

"I'd received death threats, I'd had people ringing my work".

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has been looking for a settled midfield partnership since the global retirements of Ma'a Nonu and Conrad Smith after the 2015 World Cup and the Williams-Crotty axis was seen as their potential successors.

Gard, an experienced security guard, has pleaded not guilty to making a false claim to police by reporting the bug had been found.

The woman involved in the incident has also spoken about the incident.

All Blacks assistant coach Ian Foster said that with the process complete, Williams was now anxious to just get out and play against the Wallabies. "We don't know who put it there".

"He basically approached, they started following each other - then the odd cheeky message came from Smith".

She added that Smith also told All Blacks management that she targeted him, which she claims is completely untrue.

The woman at the centre of the sex scandal broke her silence on Seven Sharp - "I understand he was really desperate".

In a revamped line-up with six changes from the last Test side against the Lions, only halves Beauden Barrett and Aaron Smith remain from the starting backline, while Damian McKenzie gets his chance at fullback.

Australian rugby has been in freefall this season, with fans' interest plunging to new lows.

The All Blacks team media manager refused entry to a Daily Mail reporter at Hansen's press conference on Thursday, telling him that only "accredited media" were welcome to ask questions.

Late tonight the NZR announced they've re-opened an investigation into the incident.

"We were perhaps tested in areas where we haven't been before, so that's exactly what we wanted", he said.

"He's in a great space in that he knows he's dealt with this issue and done the things he needed to do around this".

At the time, Smith downplayed the incident, saying it was a one-off, but apparent Facebook messages have been published that appear to show there is more to the story - and suggest that officials weren't given the whole truth.

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